Who was Saint Valentine and how did Valentine’s Day begin?

Colorful love hearts against pink background

It’s the sweetest time of year for sweethearts (Picture: Getty)

It’s widely accepted that the power of love can move mountains, divide seas and lift us where we belong – after all, at least two songs have been dedicated to its power.

And further On Valentine’s Day, people celebrate that love a little louder than usual. A day when even the most cynical could succumb to romance.

As people plan to celebrate with their significant other, the cost of living crisis shouldn’t stop couples from investing some time for themselves with these cheap date ideas and the best dining deals for a special night at home.

You may have thought about how to party, but have you also thought about why? When did Valentine’s Day begin and who was Saint Valentine, the person who gave the date its name?

Who was Saint Valentine?

The day takes its name from the famous saint, but there are several stories about who he was.

Holy New Year and Valentine

Saint Sylvester (L) and Saint Valentine (R). (Image: Getty)

The common and widespread belief is that Saint Valentine was a priest from Rome who lived in the third century and is believed to have died around AD 270.

Back then, Emperor Claudius II outlawed marriages, believing single men were better soldiers.

However, Saint Valentine took it upon himself to arrange and perform weddings in secret so that couples could still celebrate their love.

What happened to Saint Valentine?

Unfortunately, the Emperor found out and imprisoned Valentine and sentenced him to death for his crime.

According to one report, Valentine fell in love with his jailer’s daughter and on the day of his execution (February 14) sent her a love letter signed “From your Valentine.”

Where is Saint Valentine buried?

Love is everywhere – and, a little less romantically, so are the remains of Saint Valentine.

As already mentioned, Saint Valentine, the patron saint of love, was executed and buried in Rome in the 3rd century.

In 1835, however, an Irish priest, Father John Spratt, persuaded Pope Gregory XVI to dig up the remains of St Valentine and take them home as a gift to his Irish compatriots.

Resting place of Saint Valentine in Dublin

A chapel in Dublin claims to be (one of) the final resting places of St. Valentine. (Image: Getty Images)

His remains now lie beneath Whitefriar Church in Dublin.

Except… a flower-crowned skull is also believed to be that of St. Valentine and this is on display in the Basilica of Santa Maria in Cosmedin, Rome.

And it doesn’t end there. Some of St Valentine’s remains are believed to be in Scotland.

In Glasgow, the Church of Blessed John Duns Scotus also claims ownership of some of St Valentine’s bones.

How did Valentine’s Day begin?

According to History.com, Valentine’s Day is believed to have descended from a Roman festival called Lupercalia, with the first Valentine’s Day believed to have occurred in 496.

It was held on February 15 as a festival in honor of Faunus, the Roman god of agriculture.

Paintings depicting Lupercales, young Roman priests

Valentine’s Day traditions probably date back to ancient Rome. (Image: Getty Images)

Boys are believed to have pulled girls’ names out of a box as part of the celebrations.

Interestingly, during the festival they were boyfriend and girlfriend and sometimes these games led to marriage.

Later, the Church wanted to turn this festival into a Christian festival and decided to also celebrate St. to use Valentine.

Lupercalia existed for some time, but was banned at the end of the 5th century when Pope Gelasius declared February 14 as Valentine’s Day.

MORE : Feasting on Love Food: Sweet Treats for Valentine’s Day Enjoyment

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https://metro.co.uk/2023/02/12/who-was-st-valentine-and-how-did-valentines-day-start-2-18266037/ Who was Saint Valentine and how did Valentine's Day begin?

Justin Scaccy

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