Thursday, February 14, 2008

St. Valentine Patron Saint of lovers

Saint Valentine of Rome
Memorial
14 February
Profile
Priest in Rome, possibly a bishop. Physician. Imprisoned for giving aid to martyrs in prison, and while there converted the jailer by restoring sight to the jailer's daughter. While Valentine of Terni and Valentine of Rome sometimes have separate entries in martyrologies and biographies, most scholars believe they are the same person.

There are several theories about the origin of Valentine's Day celebrations. Some believe the Romans had a mid-February custom where boys drew girls' names in honor of the sex and fertility goddess, Februata Juno; pastors "baptised" this holiday, like some others, by substituting the names of saints such as Valentine to suppress the practice. Others maintain that the custom of sending Valentines on 14 February stems from the belief that birds begin to pair on that date. By 1477 the English associated lovers with the feast of Valentine because on that day "every bird chooses him a mate." The custom started of men and women writing love letters to their Valentine on this day. Other "romance" traditions have become attached to this feast, including pinning bay leaves to your pillow on Valentine's Eve so that you will see your future mate that night in your dreams.
Died
beaten and beheaded c.269 at Rome; buried on the Flaminian Way; relics later translated to the Church of Saint Praxedes
Patronage
Patron Saint of affianced couples, against fainting, bee keepers, betrothed couples, Patron Saint of engaged couples, Patron Saint of epilepsy, Patron Saint of fainting, Patron Saint of greeting card manufacturers, Patron Saint of greetings, Patron Saint of happy marriages, Patron Saint of love, Patron Saint of lovers, plague, Patron Saint of travellers, Patron Saint of young people
Representation
birds; roses; bishop with a crippled or epileptic child at his feet; bishop with a rooster nearby; bishop refusing to adore an idol; bishop being beheaded; priest bearing a sword; priest holding a sun; priest giving sight to a blind girl

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