Why do we celebrate Valentine's Day and how did it start?
Pope Gelasius declared 14th February St. Valentine's Day around 498 A.D. Various theories exist regarding how Valentine's Day started andone of those describes a story that mixes drama with romanticism, whereas others claim that the celebration came about due to a pagan festival that was christianized.
Who is St Valentine?
The CatholicChurch recognizes 11 Saint Valentines and 14th February celebrates at least three of them:
1) Valentine of Rome: a roman priest who was martyred around the year 269 and was buried on Via Flaminia.His relics can be found in the Church of Saint Práxedes in Rome and in the Carmelite church of Whitefriar Street in Dublin (Ireland).
2) Valentine of Terni: around the year 197 he was named bishop ofInteramna (now called Terni). He is also buried on Via Flaminia, but in a different place to Saint Valentine of Rome. His relics can be found in the Basilica of Saint Valentine of Terni.
3) A thirdsaint called Valentine (according to the Catholic Encyclopedia) was mentioned in the early martyrologies under the same date (14th February). It only states that he was martyrized in Africa with somecompanions.
What is the the history of St Valentine?
There are various legends regarding the history of St Valentine; the only thing that can be said for sure is that there is lots of mystery and hisexact story is not very clear.
One of the most well-known legends dates back to Rome in the 3rd century. In this period, soldiers were not allowed to get married because it was believed that singlemen were better soldiers in battle than those that were married, because they were emotionally attached to their families. Faced with this situation, the figure of the Christian priest Valentineappeared, who considered the obligation on soliders not to marry to be injust. He therefore decided to unite partners in matrimony with the Christian blessing. Through his actions, he emerged as the...
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