February 12, 2011 by staff
St. Valentine, Valentine (in Latin, Valentinus) is the name of several (14 in all) holy martyrs of ancient Rome. The name “Valentine”, derived from valens (worthy, strong, powerful), was popular in late antiquity. Valentine’s Day which is February 14, nothing is known except his name and he was buried on the Via Flaminia north of Rome on February 14. It is even uncertain whether the feast of this holy day celebrates one or more saints of the same name. For this reason this liturgical commemoration was not kept in the Catholic calendar of saints for universal liturgical veneration as revised in 1969. But “martyr Valentine the priest and those with him in Rome” remains in the list of Saints proposed to the veneration of all Catholics.
In the Eastern Orthodox Church, the priest Valentine’s Day is celebrated on July 6, and hieromartyr Valentine (Bishop of Interamna, Terni in Italy) is celebrated on July 30. Notwithstanding the fact that, conventionally, the members of the Greek Orthodox Church called Valentinos (male) and Valentina (female) to celebrate their name on February 14, by Typikon the Great Church of Christ, Valentine is revered on July 6 or July 30. In fact, there is no Valentine’s Day in the Greek Orthodox Church
The name of Valentin does not occur in the first list of Roman martyrs, compiled by the Chronograph of 354. The feast of St. Valentine was founded in 496 by Pope Gelasius I, who included Valentine among those “… whose names are justly revered among men but whose acts are known only to God.” As Gelasius implied, nothing was known even then about the life of one of these martyrs. Valentine’s Day that appears in various martyrologies through February 14 is described as either:
A priest in Rome
A bishop of Interamna (modern Terni), or
A martyr of the Roman province of Africa.
The first representation of Saint Valentine appeared in the Nuremberg Chronicle (1493); beside the portrait of the woodcut Valentine, the text indicates that he was a Roman priest martyred during the reign of Claudius II, known under the name Claude le Gothique. He was arrested and jailed after being caught marrying Christian couples and otherwise aided the Christians who were then persecuted by Claudius in Rome. Helping Christians at that time was considered a crime. Claudius took a liking to this prisoner – until Valentine tried to convert the Emperor – whereupon this priest was sentenced to death. He was beaten with sticks and stones, and when that failed to kill him, he was beheaded outside the Gate Flaminia. Various dates are given for the martyrdom or martyrdoms: 269, 270 or 273.
The official Roman Martyrology for February 14 mentions only one Saint Valentine.
Eighteenth century English antique Alban Butler and Francis Douce, noting the obscurity of the identity of Valentine’s Day, suggested that Valentine’s Day was created as an attempt to replace the pagan festival of Lupercalia. This idea has been contested by Professor Jack Oruch University of Kansas. Many current legends that characterize Valentine was invented in the fourteenth century England, notably by Geoffrey Chaucer and his circle, when the Day of 14 February 1 was associated with romantic love.
If a Web site of the Russian Orthodox Church Outside Russia and other sources give different lists of Saint Valentine, the official list of saints recognized Catholic Church, the Roman Martyrology lists seven: a martyr (Roman priest or a bishop of Terni?) buried on the Via Flaminia (February 14), a priest from Viterbo (Nov. 3), a bishop who died in Raetian 450 (January 7), a priest and hermit of the fifth century (July 4), a Spanish hermit who died about 715 (October 25) HI Rachel Guard; Valentine Berrio Ochoa, who was martyred in 1861 (November 24)? And Valentine Jaunzar s G mez, martyred in 1936 (September 18)?
Historian Jack Oruch made the case that the traditions associated with “Valentine”, documented in Geoffrey Chaucer’s Parliament of the Crowds and the fictional context of an old tradition, had no tradition as before Chaucer. He argues that the speculative explanation of sentimental customs, posing as historical fact, have their origin in antique 18th century, notably Alban Butler, the author of Butler’s Lives of the Saints, and were perpetuated by respectable, even modern scholars. In the illumination of ma**scripts from the 14th century from a French Saints Lives (picture above), Valentine, bishop of Terni, oversees construction of his basilica at Terni, there is no suggestion here again The Bishop was a patron saint of lovers.
More than 2,000 fans will flock to Dublin to see a church Valentine’s remains and to celebrate the romantic day Monday.
Fr David Weakliam, a priest at Whitefriar Church Street, said couples, singles – and a person dedicated to love and romance – visit the holy shrine.
“There is always a flow of people going to the shrine of St. Valentine, he told the Herald.
“There are couples, groups of people, and people pray in isolation, and they all have their own reasons for being there.
“People come for the missions, renewal of vows, or because they have a broken heart.”
En Weakliam said married couples come to church regularly. “There are many people renew their vows of 25 years in front of Valentine, and they ask a priest to go through the vows again.”
He added: “Three people in the past six years have proposed marriage there, and these are people who have told me.”
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