What’s On Fuerteventura – Who was St Valentine
What's on Fuerteventura - Who was St Valentine?
Who was he and why is he celebrated today?
Valentine’s Day is named after St. Valentine, who has become known as the Patron Saint of Lovers .
He was a rather mercurial figure about whom little is known, his sacrifice for the Christian faith has become the Valentine’s
Day we have today.
Who was St Valentine and how did he come to bless lovers hearts in the middle of February?
Saint Valentine of Rome who, far from being lucky in love on February 14th
was beheaded however, it’s likely that the stories of several Valentines merged Into one as
‘Valentlus’ was a popular moniker at the time. Several martyrs ended up with that name.
St Valentine of Rome was supposedly a temple priest who was executed near Rome by the
Emperor Claudius ll. The crime? Helping Roman soldiers to marry when they were
forbidden to by the Christian faith at the time.
When Pope Gelasius I dedicated February 14th to the saint and martyr Valentine, he chose
that date to replace the traditional Roman feast Lupercalia, a pagan festival popular at the
time. This was a fertility festival in honour of the god Faunus (Lupercus), the protector of
sheep and goats from wolf attacks? as well as Lupa – the she-wolf who nurtured Romulus
The pagan fertility celebration was marked by all manner of rituals like racing
among naked men, covered in skins of sacrificed goats. Apparently, whipping women staged along the course as they ran.
Another ritual required a child to pair couples at random who would have to live together and be Intimate for year in
order to fulfill the fertility rite.
The church was eager to replace such practices with its own St, Valentine thus became the patron Saint of Lovers.
St Valentine’s Day was spread to England and France by Benedictine monks, and
started to acquire more modern characteristics in the middle Ages, The poet Geoffrey
Chancer, is credited with spreading the notion of courtly romance through his writings,
Writing valentine’s to your beloved is linked to that same time period, with the oldest
dating to the 17th century.
Shakespeare also took part in popularising the link between Valentine’s Day and love, writing about St. Valentine’s day In a romantic context as part of
his Midsummer Night’s Dream Exchanging Valentines or love notes (often heart-shaped)
on Valentine’s Day further spread throughout Anglo-saxon countries In the 19th century.
Large-scale marketing and production of greetings cards started with the Industrial
Revolution as early as mid-19th century. This process of commercialisation of the holiday
continued, especially in the United States, during the 20th century, adding additional
traditions like more elaborate love notes with added gifts like chocolates, flowers and
jewellry. So while the original St Valentine was likely tortured and beheaded on February
14th his sacrifice for the Christian faith has become the Valentine’s Day we have today.
Now I know a lot of you gentlemen out there have probably forgotten all about Valentines day and are probably panicking about how to explain it to your wife/partner/girlfriend however no need to worry; head along to Books, Cards & Things where you will find a large selection of cards for every occasion.
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