What is Valentine's Day?

Saint Valentine's Day, commonly shortened to Valentine's Day,is an annual commemoration held on February 14 celebrating love and affection between intimate companions. The day is named after one or more early Christian martyrs named Saint Valentine, and was established by Pope Gelasius I in 496 AD. It was deleted from the General Roman Calendar of saints in 1969 by Pope Paul VI. It is traditionally a day on which lovers express their love for each other by presenting flowers, offering confectionery, and sending greeting cards (known as "valentines"). The day first became associated with romantic love in the circle of Geoffrey Chaucer in the High Middle Ages, when the tradition of courtly love flourished. Read More...



What is the history of Valentine's Day?

The history of Valentine's Day — and its patron saint — is shrouded in mystery. But we do know that February has long been a month of romance. St. Valentine's Day, as we know it today, contains vestiges of both Christian and ancient Roman tradition. So, who was Saint Valentine and how did he become associated with this ancient rite? Today, the Catholic Church recognizes at least three different saints named Valentine or Valentinus, all of whom were martyred. Read More...



Who was St. Valentine?

St. Valentine was actually two people (that weren't romantically involved) who were martyred on the same day (c. 270). Feasts commemorating them were celebrated on February 14. One was a priest and physician who died in Rome during the persecution of Christians by Claudius II Grothicus. The other was the bishop at Terni, Italy who was also martyred in Rome. Both have been buried at different places along the Flaminian Way. Read More...



The Legend of St. Valentine

Historical archives make mention of at least three different individuals (and perhaps as many as seven) credited with the name of Saint Valentine (or Valentinus). The three discussed here were all martyred for their faith and have been recognized by the Catholic Church. The first is described as a priest who resided in Rome and the second is described as a Bishop who resided in Interamna (known today as Terni) in Italy. These two Saint Valentines appear to have been alive during the second half of the Third Century and are said by some sources to be buried on the Flaminia Consular Way...but at different distances from the City of Rome. The ancient Flaminian Gate is now called the Porta del Popolo, but was formerly referred to as the Gate of Saint Valentine. Read More...

 


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