Thursday, February 12, 2009

San Valentino - Lo sapevi che?

Valentine's Day Trivia and Legends

Valentine's Day, a special day of the year set aside to honor love of all kinds, and especially romantic love. But do you know who Valentine was? Why was this special day set aside to honor St. Valentine?

Here are a variety of stories and legends . . .
1. Valentine was a Roman priest during the time of Claudis around AD269, who was martyred, then buried on the Flamian Way. He helped Christians during a time of persecution, was caught, put in jail, became a Christian, then was clubbed to death for this on February 14th, 269. While in prison, legend has it that he sent messages to friends saying "Remember your Valentine" and "I love you".
2. In another story, it is said that Valentine was a priest that secretly married couples, defying the Emperor Claudius who had temporary forbid marriages.
3. Valentine was jailed for refusing to worship pagan gods. Making friends with the Jailer's daughter, he is said to have cured her through prayer, and on the date of his execution (Feb. 14th), is said to have write her her a note signed "Your Valentine".
4. Or this 4th story is that Valentine was a bishop of Terni martyred in Rome. The 14th of February has been set apart as the special day to remember St. Valentine. This was one day before the Roman Feast of Lupercalia, a pagan love festival. In 496 A.D. Pope Gelasius changed Lupercalia from the 15th to the 14th to try and stop the pagan festival. The church realized that there was nothing wrong with celebrating love, only the pagan elements were wrong. And so Valentine had become known as the patron of love.


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