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Valentine (3rd century), martyr

"Two Valentines are listed in the Roman Martyrology on 14 February: one a Roman priest martyred on the Flaminian Way, supposedly under Claudius, the other a bishop of Terni who was martyred at Rome, but whose relics were translated to Terni. The Acts of both are unreliable (..). Neither of them seems to have any clear connection with lovers or courting couples. The reason for this famous patronage is that birds are supposed to pair on 14 February, a belief at least as old as Chaucer, just as the custom of choosing and calling oneself a Valentine is at least as old as the Paston letters."

Source: The Oxford Dictionary of Saints (1978,1992)

Comments

sanda56
Feb. 14th, 2005 11:18 pm (UTC)
Here's the gateway where I found the articles. http://www.essortment.com/in/Holidays.History/ Don't know if they cast much light on the subject though! ;)
gamiila
Feb. 15th, 2005 12:02 pm (UTC)
Cheers, I'll have a look at it some time. It seems to me though, that when it comes to pinpointing the origins of any feast, people are just guessing and making up stories -- and theré's nothing wrong with that as afr as I can see! ;-)

I checked my calendarium before I left home this morning; apparently, today is St. Siegfried (some obscure Nordic holy man)...