A Story of Love: St. Valentine
In 226 A.D, Valentinus (Valentine) was born in Terni, Italy. As a toung adult, Valentine made the decision to become a Christian Priest. At the time of his ordination, the Roman Emperor Claudius Gothicus II took pleasure in punishing, torturing, persecute and executing Christian men women and children. In response, Valentine continued to spread the word of Christianity and baptized hundreds of Roman citizens into the Christian (Catholic) Faith.
Within time, Valentine was arrested by Roman officials and placed on house arrest. In regard to his case, a judge called Asterius was appointed to interrogate Valentine on his Christian faith. During his questioning, Valentine defended the faith he held and vowed to Jesus Christ as the Son of God. To challenge his faith, Asterius brought forth his blind daughter, asking Valentine to restore her sight. The judge said that if Valentine restored his daughter’s vision, he would convert Christianity and want Valentine to baptize him. When Judge Asterius brought his blind daughter to Valentine, the latter put his hands on her eyes and said a prayer for her vision to be healed. Upon doing so, Valentine removed his hands and the daughter's sight was restored. Immediately, Judge Asterius asked Valentine to baptize him in the Christian Faith. Following his baptism, Asterius released all Christian prisoners from his custody. As penance for his former life, Asterius destroyed all his Roman idols, fasted for three straight days and brought forty-four members of his family to be baptized.
Following these events, Valentine would become the Bishop of Amelia, Narnia and Terni, Italy. Not long after, Valentine was arrested again for baptizing Romans into Christianity, marrying Christian couples and aiding Christians persecuted by the Emperor. While on trial, Valentine went before Emperor Claudius II. When speaking of his faith and convictions, the Emperor flew into an abhorrent rage and sentenced Valentine to a gruesome death. Beforehand, the Emperor asked Valentine to renounce his Christian faith so he would be spared. In response, Valentine spoke with dignity and grace, affirming his belief in God and Jesus Christ.
On February 14, 280 A.D., Valentine was executed by beating with a club and beheaded. Before his death, Valentine left the daughter of his former judge Asterius a note confirming his Christian faith, signing it “Your Valentine”. In 496, Pope Gelasius declared Valentine a saint within the Roman Catholic Church. The feast day would coincide with his death on February 14.
St. Valentine is the Patron Saint of: Betrothed Couples, Happy Marriages, Love, Plague, Epilepsy and Fainting.
St. Valentine is Attributed to: Birds, a Bishop, Roses, a Bishop with a Rooster, a Bishop Refusing to Adore an Idol, a Bishop being Beheaded, a Crippled Child at his (St. Valentine’s) Feet, a Child with Epilepsy at his (St. Valentine’s) Feet, a Priest with a Sword, a Priest holding the Sun and a Priest giving sight to
Happy Saint Valentine's Day!
Author's note: In 1969, following the "Second Vatican Council", the Roman Catholic Church removed Saint Valentine off the General Roman Calendar, claiming that “there was not enough information about his full life” to hold such a position.