St Valentine

February 14th is the Feast day of St Valentine, the Patron Saint of Lovers.  Who was St Valentine?  There were two St Valentines.  There may be many others!  Neither were connected with lovers or courting couples and both were executed in the 3rd Century.

One was a priest and doctor, the other the Bishop of Turin.  One was executed for performing weddings on Christian soldiers who were forbidden to marry.  The Emperor Claudius II felt married men did not make good soldiers.

The other St Valentine was persecuted for not converting to Roman paganism.  Before his execution he is reported to have performed a miracle returning the sight of the blind jailers daughter.

A more modern belief is that on Valentine’s day birds choose their mates as it heralds the beginning of Spring.

In art Valentine is often depicted with crippled or epileptic children at his feet who it is believed he cured.   St Valentine is also the patron saint of beekeepers, travellers, the young, epileptics, and happy marriages.