♫Latest Podcast Ep.

February 14th - St Valentine (The True Story)

 The Tradition of Valentinus
Long before February 14th was marketed as a day all about love, there was a man who lived named Valentinus (Valentine). Actually, there were two men with the same name. Somehow the stories blended together over time. One was said to be a priest in Rome while another one is said to be a Bishop in Interamna. Both men were martyred during a high point of Christian persecution in history. The story that is most well known is that of the Roman priest.

Tradition holds that Valentinus was apprehended and asked to recant his faith. When he refused to do so, he was tortured. Still refusing to recant, he was eventually beheaded near what is now the Porta del Popolo.

How did this become a day dedicated to lovers?
A lot of how we celebrate this Saint's feast day has to do with the English poet Chaucer. In Western Europe, birds would begin to pair. In one of his poems entitled Parliament of Foules he wrote:

"For this was sent on Saint Valentine's day 
When every foul cometh there to choose his mate."

Other authors would make the same observation and use the Feast of St. Valentine to make the occasion of "love being in the air" (literally).