It’s a mystery! February 14 is widely known as Valentine’s Day. A day when yummy cookie hearts are baked, flowers of all colors are given, and sweet notes are written to loved ones, family and friends alike. All these tokens of affection are credited to Saint Valentine.
But who exactly is the patron saint of love and marriage? Read on to get to know him better!
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The latin word “Valentinus,” which means strong and powerful, was such a popular name that there have been other men with the same name who have been canonized. In order to minimize confusion, the saint we know and love was a priest near Rome in the year 270 A.D. This was a time when soldiers were not allowed to get married because their Emperor, Claudius the Second, believed that having a wife and children made his soldiers weak.
Father Valentine continued to secretly provide the sacrament of marriage, which was now against the law. But as with any secret, people soon found out and Father Valentine was imprisoned and sentenced to death.
According to legend, this is where Father Valentine performed his first miracle. The daughter of his jailer, Asterius, was blind. One day, Father Valentine laid his hands on her eyes and prayed for her to see the light. She opened her eyes and, lo and behold, she could see!
The origin of love letters could also be traced back to his time in prison. According to folklore, on the day Father Valentine was to be executed, he gave the
note that he signed, “From your Valentine.” It was also Father Valentine’s wish that soldiers be reminded of God’s love. He therefore began the custom of cutting out hearts from parchment paper and giving them out. These traditions continue to this day, especially on the day that he died, February 14.