The history of St. Valentine in a nutshell.

The history of St. Valentine in a nutshell.

February 14 is celebrated as the Day of Love and Friendship. Some also call this date the Day of Lovers.

In the Catholic saints’ calendar, February 14 is celebrated as St. Valentine’s Day, which is why this saint is known as the saint of lovers.

Who was Saint Valentine? Have a read…

St. Valentine was a Catholic priest who served in Rome, who was also a physician and lived in Italy during the 3rd century AD.

St. Valentine became famous because he performed marriages on the sly, as many couples were in love and could not legally marry in Rome because Emperor Claudius II forbade it.

The Roman emperor wanted to recruit many men to form an army, and he thought that marriage would be an obstacle for them to be trained as soldiers. For that reason he forbade them to marry.

Upon learning that Valentine was secretly celebrating weddings, he ordered him arrested and sentenced him to death.

During his capture, Valentine befriended his jailer, Asterious, who was so impressed with the priest that he asked him to help his daughter Julia with her lessons. She was blind and needed someone to read books to her for her learning.

Emperor Claudius also came to love him, and even offered to pardon him if he would renounce his Christian faith and agree to worship the Roman gods.

Not only did Valentinus refuse to abandon his faith, but he also invited the emperor to trust in Christ. This so infuriated the ruler that he condemned him to death.

Before the punishment was carried out, the saint wrote a last note to Julia, encouraging her to remain close to Jesus and also to thank her for having been his friend. At the end of the note he signed, “From your Valentine.” This was what inspired people to start writing love letters.

The priest was executed on the Via Flaminiana, where later Pope John Paul the First (523-526) requested that a temple be erected under his invocation and of which most of his relics are still preserved in the church of St. Praxedes.

Prior to this fact, in the year 496, Pope Gelasius designated February 14 as the official day of St. Valentine.

Other legends say that he is also the saint of love because his celebration is close to the days when birds begin to mate.

Was that interesting or what? So now you know a little bit more of this siginificant celebration.

Happy Valentine’s!

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