Saturday, February 13, 2010

St. Valentine (Patron Saint of love and lovers) and the History of Valentine’s Day

Valentine's Day Hearts Gift ToteValentine’s Day has its roots in the ancient Roman festival of Lupercalia. It is a fertility celebration commemorated every 15th of February. When Christianity began to dominate Europe, pagan holidays were renamed for Christian martyrs. Pope Gelasius renamed this pagan festival as the feast day of the Roman martyr Saint Valentine in 496 A.D. and move its date to February 14.
There is no recorded date as to when Saint Valentine was born, but there are several legends about who he was. The two most popular legends are the Priest in Rome and The Bishop in Terni.

The Priest in Rome:

Valentines Day Rose Bath Soap Leaves During the reign of Roman Emperor Claudius II, he banned marriage because he felt that married men are emotionally attached to their families and are not good soldiers. Valentine realized the injustice of the decree so he defied Claudius and continued to perform marriages for young lovers in secret. But Claudius soon learned of this “friend of lovers,” and had him arrested. While Valentine was in prison awaiting his fate, he came in contact with his jailor, Asterius. The jailor had a blind daughter. Asterius requested him to heal his daughter. Through the vehicle of his strong faith he miraculously restored the sight of Asterius’ daughter. Just before his execution, he asked for a pen and paper from his jailor, and signed a farewell message to her “From Your Valentine.”
On February 14, 270 AD, Valentine was executed.
Valentine thus become a Patron Saint, and spiritual overseer of an annual festival. The festival involved young Romans offering women they admired, and wished to court, handwritten greetings of affection on February 14. The greeting cards acquired St.Valentine’s name.

Bishop of Terni:

This Saint Valentine is said to have been scourged, imprisoned and beheaded by Placidus, Prefect of Interanma (Terni). The relic bones of this Saint Valentine are housed in a basilica in Terni, a town in Italy which hails Saint Valentine as its Patron Saint. It is believed that the saint, who lived in the Third Century, dedicated his life to the Christian community ofTerni, becoming the first Bishop of the town. Adored by the populace, the fame of Saint Valentine’s holiness and miracles reached Rome, his name being linked with love because, according to legend, he was the first religious personage to oversee the celebration of marriage between a pagan man and a Christian woman. Sentenced to death in Rome, he was martyred on February 14 along the Via Flaminia and swiftly buried in order to prevent rioting by the Christians. It is said that three ofSaint Valentine’s disciples managed to find the body, transferring it to Terni , where the remains were interred within a sacred place. The Basilica of Saint Valentino was later erected in the same location to honor the saint and invoke his protection and blessing. Every year on February 14, the town of Terni celebrates the day with exhibitions, fairs and cultural events.




No comments:

Post a Comment