1. The St. Valentine who inspired the holiday may have been two different men.
Officially recognized by the Roman Catholic Church, St. Valentine is known to be a real person who died around A.D. 270. However, his true identity was questioned as early as A.D. 496 by Pope Gelasius I. . . One account from the 1400s describes Valentine as a temple priest who was beheaded near Rome by the emperor Claudius II for helping Christian couples wed. A different account claims Valentine was the Bishop of Terni, also martyred by Claudius II on the outskirts of Rome.
2. In all, there are about a dozen St. Valentines, plus a pope. . .
The official Roman Catholic roster of saints shows about a dozen who were named Valentine or some variation thereof.
3. Valentine is the patron saint of beekeepers and epilepsy, among many other things.
4. You can find Valentine’s skull in Rome.
5. English poet Geoffrey Chaucer may have invented Valentine’s Day. . .
No record exists of romantic celebrations on Valentine’s Day prior to a poem Chaucer wrote around 1375. In his work “Parliament of Foules,” he links a tradition of courtly love with the celebration of St. Valentine’s feast day–an association that didn’t exist until after his poem received widespread attention.
6. You can celebrate Valentine’s Day several times a year. . .
you might decide to celebrate St. Valentine of Viterbo on November 3. Or . . . St. Valentine of Raetia on January 7. . . (or) the only female St. Valentine (Valentina), a virgin martyred in Palestine on July 25, A.D. 308. The Eastern Orthodox Church officially celebrates St. Valentine twice, once as an elder of the church on July 6 and once as a martyr on July 30.
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