The saint for February 14
Saint Valentine of Rome
|Local only, optional
died at Rome c. 270
St. Valentine of Rome and St. Valentine of Terni share
a feast day, a common approximate date
of martyrdom, common patronages and even a common
location of burial.
Unsurprisingly, most scholars consider them to be but
a single saint, despite some competing local cults.
The City of Terni considers him to be their first Bishop,
although it is not certain that Valentine
was a bishop at all.
Also at Terni, the evolution of the charming nature of
his feast is given as follows:
The saint had the custom of gifting young visitors
with flowers he had grown in his own garden. A young
couple so gifted fell deeply in love, and the resultant
marriage was so felicitous that the saint was prevailed
upon to continue the custom, and even to dedicate a day
to the general blessing of the matrimonial state.
Other sources attribute the romantic nature of the feast
either to the early spring matings of birds in the area,
or to the custom common in the Churc of
appropriating pagan feasts, in this case feasts of
the roman fertility goddess Februaria Juno.
In any case, the noble saint was also a physician, and
was imprisoned in Rome for treating christian
prisoners awaiting their martyrdom. It is said that
he won the conversion of his own jailer by curing the
jailer's daughter of blindness.
He was martyred by beating and beheading, and buried
on the Flaminian way by fellow christians.
His relics currently reside at Whitefriar Street Church
in Dublin, Ireland, in the keeping of the
Carmelite Friars (O. Carm)
Prayer to St Valentine
O glorious advocate and protector,
look with pity upon our wants,
hear our requests,
attend to our prayers,
relieve by your intercession the miseries
under which we labour,
and obtain for us the divine blessing,
that we may be found worthy to join you
in praising the Almighty for all
eternity: through the merits of
Our Lord Jesus Christ. Amen.
|patron of: Marriage, Romantic Involvement, Betrothal, beekeepers, against fainting, greeting card manufacturers
Index of Catholic Saints