Friday, February 2, 2007

History of St. Valentine the many

February 14 was traditionally dedicated to two ancient martyrs named Valentine.[3] They are listed in early martyrologies under the date of February 14, which is likely the date of their deaths.[4] There is a third St. Valentine from Africa who was also martyred on February 14, but he did not get a saint's day. Very little historically accurate information exists on any of these Valentines. The Valentines honored on February 14 are:
Valentine of Rome (Valentinus presb. m. Romae): a priest in Rome who suffered martyrdom about AD 269 and was buried on the Via Flaminia. His relics are at the Church of Saint Praxed in Rome. [5] and at Whitefriar Street Carmelite Church in Dublin, Ireland. According to a biography of Saint Valentine by Robert Sabuda, the priest was also a doctor who would treat patients even if they could not pay him. It is said his miracle was curing a difficult case of blindness in a young girl.
Valentine of Terni (Valentinus ep. Interamnensis m. Romae): He became bishop of Interamna (modern Terni) about AD 197 and is said to have been killed during the persecution of Emperor Aurelian. He is also buried on the Via Flaminia, but in a different location than Valentine of Rome. His relics are at the Basilica of Saint Valentine in Terni (Basilica di San Valentino).
Some sources say the Valentine linked to romance is Valentine of Rome, others say Valentine of Terni. The Bollandists have concluded that the two were originally the same person.
The name Valentine comes from the Latin word valor, meaning worthy.[6] The Catholic Church formally recognized a total of eleven Valentine's days. Besides February 14, these include January 7, May 2, July 16, August 31, September 2, October 25, November 1 and November 3, November 11, November 13, and December 16. Valentin Faustino Berri Ochoa, whose saint's day is November 1, lived in the nineteenth century. The Orthodox Church recognizes a somewhat different list of Valentine's days[7]. Although no connection between St. Valentine and love is mentioned in any early account, there are several later legends that make such a connection. See Medieval and modern times
The Roman Catholic Calendar of Saints, known officially as the Roman Martyrology, was revised in 1969 so that all of the Valentine's days were officially dropped. The liturgical Feast of St. Valentine is now restricted to the diocese of Rome. For the global Catholic Church, February 14 is the Feast of Ss. Cyril and Methodius.

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