Who was St. Valentine?

Every February, in America, we celebrate St. Valentine’s Day. February 14th is the day when couples make special dinner plans, even renewal of vows is very common, good friends express their feelings to one another and love and romance are pretty much the hot topic for the month… but where does this celebration come from? and why is it dedicated to love?

Personally, I’ve heard many stories about the origin of this day, I did research and here’s what I found…

According to our records there has been more than one Saint Valentine. While the Orthodox Russian Church names seven of them, there is one of them that may be the one connected to the February 14th day -Valentine, a priest in Rome.

Some texts suggest that a representation of Saint Valentine appeared in 1493, in a woodcut portrait of Valentine where the text states that he was a Roman priest martyred during the reign of Claudius II, known as Claudius Gothicus.
He was arrested and imprisoned upon being caught marrying Christian couples and otherwise aiding Christians who were at the time being persecuted by Claudius in Rome. Helping Christians at this time was considered a crime. Claudius took a liking to this prisoner — until Valentinus tried to convert the Emperor — whereupon this priest was condemned to death. He was beaten with clubs and stoned; when that didn’t finish him, he was beheaded outside the Flaminian Gate. Various dates are given for the martyrdom.

In other regions of the world, however, as in the case of some areas in Portugal, France and some South American countries, a celebration similar to this one may be the one falling around July 25th-30th, and may be related to Valentine, a bishop of Interamna (modern Terni).
He was known as always happy. He loved birds and roses. Although the information available doesn’t directly connect him to assisting couples, love or romance, he is still considered patron of affianced couples, happy marriages, love, and beekeepers.

I like the idea of celebrating love every February. It’s a great way to start the year, and then in July I “observe the day” all over again. It’s a great way to kick off the second half of the year.
So on this Valentine’s Day, February 14, 2009 I wish you much love, laughter and only happy things. I wish for you to be surrounded by love, giving and receiving the most magnificent emotion we possess. I wish a veil of warm Loving Light covers the Earth, and us, blessings us with Divine Love. And may we all feel the humanhood in our hearts and elevate together into a stronger bond of global friendship. Let’s celebrate this month, Celebrate the season!

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