February 14 is the feast day of St. Valentine. In 1969, the Roman Catholic Church removed St. Valentine from the General Roman Calendar, because so little is known about him and there are two other St. Valentines that lived during the same time as the most known. This has led to some stories of St. Valentine to be convoluted and not distinguishable between the two St. Valentines in Italy. The African St. Valentine Is differed from the other two, but not much is known about him. However, the church still recognizes them as a saint, listing them all in the February 14 spot of the Roman Martyrology.
The first St. Valentine of Rome was a priest and physician and he is the Patron Saint of Severe diseases. He comforted and treated the persecuted during the reign of Emperor Claudius II the Goth and was martyred on February 14th, 270 AD. Nothing else is too prominent on him. However, a lot of details from his story are also St. Valentine of Teri. Yet, St. Valentine of Teri is the more widely known saint of the too. There is also a chance that these people are the exact same person.
St. Valentine of Teri is the saint everyone knows. He is the Patron Saint of courtly love and epilepsy. St. Valentine was the Bishop of Interamnia ( now Teri), Italy. He lived during the reign of Emperor Claudius II, The Goth, as well. He also comforted the persecuted, along with St. Marius, his family, and others. He later was arrested for his faith and sentenced to death, but not until after being scourged. He was then beheaded on February 14, 270 AD. He would then go to be buried at Flaminian Way, where Pope Julius I (333-356AD.) would build a basilica to preserve the remains of St. Valentine, which in turn “canonized” him as a Saint.
The third and final Saint Valentine was a missionary in Africa. He, along with some companions and soldiers, was captured and killed for his beliefs. Nothing else is told about him sadly. Another thing to note is that all these men were very Anti-Pagan.
Saint Valentine’s feast day is known to many in the modern world as just “Valentine’s Day”. This day is all about love and the spreading of said love with lovers and friends. But where does this come from? Well, other than the love shown by the Saint Valentines, The English and French believed that bird began to pair around this time of year. So, they took this time to pair themselves. Sadly, however, the day has become very paganized with the inclusion of Cupid, along with other tropes for Valentine’s day. So, how can we, as Catholics, look at this day and make it more reverent and sacred?
Sticking to the theme of Love, let us focus on the Sacred Heart of the Lord, the most loving heart of all. The Heart that out pours the sacrificial, selfless, and unconditional love of Christ. Meditation over the Passion of Christ is a great start. Then, following Christ’s steps and those of Saint Valentine, love and care for all of those around you. Good reverent practice will lead to better faith and better love. I highly recommend daily devoted prayer, throughout Lent and further beyond. I guarantee you will be happier.
Pax et Bonum
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