He is the Patron Saint of:
He is represented in pictures with birds and roses.
The origin of St. Valentine, and how many St. Valentines there were, remains a mystery. One opinion is that he was a Roman martyred for refusing to give up his Christian faith. Other historians hold that St. Valentine was a temple priest jailed for defiance during the reign of Claudius. Whoever he was, Valentine really existed because archaeologists have unearthed a Roman catacomb and an ancient church dedicated to Saint Valentine. In 496 AD Pope Gelasius marked February 14th as a celebration in honor of his martyrdom.
The first representation of Saint Valentine appeared in a The Nuremberg Chronicle, a great illustrated book printed in 1493. [Additional evidence that Valentine was a real person: archaeologists have unearthed a Roman catacomb and an ancient church dedicated to Saint Valentine.] Alongside a woodcut portrait of him, text states that Valentinus was a Roman priest martyred during the reign of Claudius the Goth [Claudius II]. Since he was caught marrying Christian couples and aiding any Christians who were being persecuted under Emperor Claudius in Rome [when helping them was considered a crime], Valentinus was arrested and imprisoned. Claudius took a liking to this prisoner -- until Valentinus made a strategic error: he tried to convert the Emperor -- whereupon this priest was condemned to death. He was beaten with clubs and stoned; when that didn't do it, he was beheaded outside the Flaminian Gate [circa 269].
Saints are not supposed to rest in peace; they're expected to keep busy: to perform miracles, to intercede. Being in jail or dead is no excuse for non-performance of the supernatural. One legend says, while awaiting his execution, Valentinus restored the sight of his jailer's blind daughter. Another legend says, on the eve of his death, he penned a farewell note to the jailer's daughter, signing it, "From your Valentine."
St. Valentine was a Priest, martyred in 269 at Rome and was buried on the Flaminian Way. (source: catholic.org)Full article here.
Sooooo, from all of this history we come to present day and see all of the commercialism and money making that surrounds this "holiday". In our house it is a Feast Day, and another chance to get history into our homeschooling day--in a fun way. A springboard to studying the Emperor Claudius, Rome, archaeologists and the persecutions. I try to ground my kids in history before the world tries to sweep them away with all of the retail brainwashing, telling them it is all about roses and chocolate. While those are lovely, I say it can be simply showing love through kindness and caring without any material things involved. But, did I still get the hubby a card and some sweets?? Of course I did but I also surprised him with an act of kindness, by filling his car up with gas late last night so he wouldn't have to leave for work early to do it. Little things like that go a long way. I hope to show my children that it is the way we treat others and not what we buy them that shows our true love. My children see all of the chocolates in the stores and even though they don't say anything I know they are probably thinking it would be nice to have some. Well, they do not consume cow's milk, or any animal milk for that matter, so this gives Mom a perfect opportunity to make them something healthy and sweet.
The other day when we celebrated my Mom's birthday I had made Heather Pace's Lava Cakes and I added a carob sauce. Well, I had so much "dough" leftover and carob sauce that I decided to make some freezer fudge. I took the leftover "dough" and pressed it down, very firmly, into a square dish. I then poured on my leftover carob sauce and popped it in the freezer. I knew it would turn out to be more fudge like this way and boy was I right. This is amazing fudge. I love that it is kept in the freezer because the kids can snack on it for several weeks to come and it will taste just as fresh as the day I made it. See my post about the Lava Cakes here. I hope someone gets the chance to make this wonderful treat! Enjoy. Happy Valentine's Day!!
+JMJ+ Today I am grateful for unconditional LOVE.