Saint Valentine's Day, also known as Valentine's Day or the Feast of Saint Valentine, is a holiday observed on February 14 each year. It is celebrated in many countries around the world, although it is not a holiday in most of them.
St. Valentine's Day began as a liturgical celebration one or more early Christian saints named Valentinus. Several martyrdom stories were invented for the various Valentines that belonged to February 14, and added to later martyrologies. A popular hagiographical account of Saint Valentine of Rome states that he was imprisoned for performing weddings for soldiers who were forbidden to marry and for ministering to Christians, who were persecuted under the Roman Empire. According to legend, during his imprisonment, he healed the daughter of his jailer, Asterius. An embellishment to this story states that before his execution he wrote her a letter signed "Your Valentine" as a farewell. Today, Saint Valentine's Day is an official feast day in the Anglican Communion, as well as in the
Eastern Orthodox Church also celebrates Saint Valentine's Day, albeit on July 6
and July 30, the former date in honor of the Roman presbyter Saint Valentine,
and the latter date in honor of Hieromartyr Valentine, the Bishop of Interamna
(modern Terni). In Lutheran Church , the Dia de São Valentim is recognized on June 12. Brazil
The day was first associated with romantic love in the circle of Geoffrey Chaucer in the High Middle Ages, when the tradition of courtly love flourished. In 18th-century
it evolved into an occasion in which lovers expressed their love for each other
by presenting flowers, offering confectionery, and sending greeting cards (known
as "valentines"). In England Europe, Saint Valentine's Keys are given to lovers "as a romantic
symbol and an invitation to unlock the giver’s heart", as well as to
children, in order to ward off Saint Valentine's Malady. Valentine's Day
symbols that are used today include the heart-shaped outline, doves, and the
figure of the winged Cupid. Since the 19th century, handwritten valentines have
given way to mass-produced greeting cards.
Saint Valentine (Latin: Valentinius) is a widely recognized third-century Roman saint commemorated on February 14 and associated since the High Middle Ages with a tradition of courtly love.
Valentine was a holy priest in Rome, who, with St. Marius and his family, assisted the martyrs in the persecution under Claudius II. He was apprehended, and sent by the emperor to the prefect of Rome, who, on finding all his promises to make him renounce his faith ineffectual, commanded him to be beaten with clubs, and afterwards, to be beheaded, which was executed on February 14, about the year 270. Pope Julius I is said to have built a church near Ponte Mole to his memory, which for a long time gave name to the gate now called Porta del Popolo, formerly, Porta Valetini. The greatest part of his relics are now in the church of St. Praxedes. His name is celebrated as that of an illustrious martyr in the sacramentary of St. Gregory, the Roman Missal of Thomasius, in the calendar of F. Fronto and that of Allatius, in Bede, Usuard, Ado, Notker and all other martyrologies on this day. To abolish the heathens lewd superstitious custom of boys drawing the names of girls, in honor of their goddess Februata Juno, on the fifteenth of this month, several zealous pastors substituted the names of saints in billets given on this day.
Because so little is known of him, in 1969 the Roman Catholic Church removed his name from the General Roman Calendar, leaving his liturgical celebration to local calendars. The Roman Catholic Church continues to recognize him as a saint, listing him as such in the February 14 entry in the Roman Martyrology, and authorizing liturgical veneration of him on February 14 in any place where that day is not devoted to some other obligatory celebration in accordance with the rule that on such a day the Mass may be that of any saint listed in the Martyrology for that day. Use of the pre-1970 liturgical calendar is also authorized under the conditions indicated in the motu proprio Summorum Pontificum of 2007. Saint Valentine's Church in
, built in 1960 for the needs of the Olympic Village, continues as a
modern, well-visited parish church. Rome