Saint Valentine: the story of an incurable romantic
Some honor this festivity as a perfect opportunity to genuinely show off all the love they’ve been hiding all year long. Others think for whatever reason that this celebration is unnecessary. Regardless of what might be your personal opinion about this celebration, we invite you to discover the mysterious story of the Saint that gave the name to 14 February.
Valentine's Day Story
A long time ago, the third-century Rome was ruled by Claudius the Cruel, an emperor who hoped to make his soldiers more efficient by banning marriages, seen as a reason of distraction from the military duty of young men. However, every story needs at least one positive character and ours is a Roman priest named Valentine. The future saint decided to overlook the emperor’s unreasonable ban and started to marry young couples in secret. Unfortunately, Claudius learned of Valentine’s deeds, had him arrested, and eventually condemned to death.
During his time in prison, Valentine’s jailer — Asterius was his name — asked the priest to heal his blind daughter. According to the legend, the Saint actually restored Asterius’ daughter sight and became her friend. Shortly before the execution, the kind priest wrote her a famous note that he signed: “From your Valentine”.
If you want the picture to be complete, you might want to know these three more facts about Saint Valentine’s Day:
I. Before the advent of Christianity, Romans celebrated the fertility festival called Lupercalia on February 15.
II. The very first Saint Valentine’s Day was officially declared by Pope Gelasius in 496 AD, to be celebrated on 14 February.
III. Actually, there were three early Christian saints by that name who lived in the same period of time, and it’s still a mystery which of them the story should be attributed to.
Of course, the reality of the original story does not correspond to the sugary perception we have of this yet tender festival, but its essence surely reinforces our need to celebrate love, be it romantic or Christian.
A Chat about Love with a Father of St Augustine→
Love, in others’ words →