A love that did not depend the price


On St Valentine’s Day, Peter Diamond unearths the saint’s existence and demise are some distance from hearts and plant life

In nearly all of high-street stores and supermarkets within the weeks main as much as St Valentine’s Day, you’re more likely to discover a plethora of purple playing cards, purple roses, heart-shaped bins of Thorntons goodies, and decor with nearly-naked obese cherubs taking pictures hearts with bows and arrows.

The true St Valentine, an early Christian martyr who was once bludgeoned and beheaded for his Religion, is a picture which couldn’t be farther from the only so expertly advertised at us in 2020.

It’s additionally a some distance cry from a ritual traditionally celebrated on February 14 in early Roman instances, the place males ran during the streets slapping girls with the flesh of recently-sacrificed animals in an act which was once stated to support fertility within the feminine. Lovely disgusting, proper?

So why did a saint with any such ugly demise come to be related to a competition about love, goodies, and gushing Hallmark sentiment?


Other saints?

Consistent with the Catholic Encyclopedia, a minimum of 3 other St Valentines had been recorded in early histories of martyrs below the date of February 14. There also are accounts of an African St Valentine, an early Christian who was once persecuted together with his partners, however it sort of feels that not anything else is understood about this conceivable saint.

The St Valentine celebrated as of late will have been two other other folks. One account holds that St Valentine was once a clergyman in Rome, and the opposite says that he was once a bishop of Interamna (modern day Terni). Each had been persecuted and in the end killed for his or her Religion, and buried someplace alongside the Flaminian Means, an historic Roman highway main from Rome over the Apennine Mountains to Ariminum at the coast of the Adriatic Sea. It’s also conceivable that those males had been each the similar particular person.

St Valentine—whether or not priest or bishop—was once martyred on February 14, now celebrated as Valentine’s Day and, in keeping with maximum assets, met his finish after a spending a time frame imprisoned and being matter to a significant beating adopted through a beheading. One can most effective consider the sheer brutality that should have existed in historic Rome at the moment.



The saint was once one of the crucial first Christian martyrs when the overall persecution of Christians began within the Roman empire.

Historical past tells us it was once particularly across the center of the 3rd century {that a} disaster befell within the Roman international which brought about turmoil within the empire. The 3rd Century Disaster, as it’s recognized, is related to barbarian incursions and rampant instability, specifically among the politicians of the day.

Because of that instability, the primary normal persecutions of Christians started, paving the way in which for plenty of martyrs within the Church, together with St Valentine.

St Valentine’s tale unfold briefly and shortly there have been devotions in his title, with Pope Julius I having a basilica devoted to the saint constructed roughly two miles from Rome, over the saint’s burial position.

His cranium is now saved within the Basilica of Santa Maria in Rome, and is adorned with flower crowns on his banquet day.


Fashionable age

However the place do the 2020 Valentine’s Day traditions correlate with the martyr of the Church who seems to be more and more forgotten about in the middle of the secular consumerism, much more so than we see at Christmas or Easter?

Some Valentine’s Day traditions are, in keeping with historians, connected with St Valentine’s existence, such because the exchanging of playing cards or the birthday celebration of romantic love.

“One (account) was once that he had befriended the jailer’s daughter, the place he was once being imprisoned, and when he died, he left her a be aware inscribed with ‘Out of your Valentine,’” stated Fr Brendan Lupton, an affiliate professor of Church Historical past at Mundelein Seminary in Illinois.

Different accounts say that exchanging playing cards on Valentine’s Day recollects how St Valentine would ship notes to fellow Christians from jail.



“Some other tale is that Claudius the Goth, the Roman emperor on the time, had in fact prohibited marriage among infantrymen,” stated Fr Lupton.

“He felt that if infantrymen had been married, they’d be much less dedicated to the military, particularly at the moment once they wanted as many troops as conceivable. So there was once a legend that Valentine in fact had married infantrymen in secret.”

It has additionally been steered through the years that one more reason St Valentine’s Day will have come to be celebrated as an afternoon of affection was once for the reason that bird-mating season was once idea to start out round mid-February.

“St Valentine’s Day, as it’s recognized as of late, was once additionally instituted as an alternative to a cruder Roman vacation on the time known as Lupercalia,” Fr Lupton added.

Lupercalia was once a well-liked banquet celebrated in Rome, all over which a bunch of pagan monks would sacrifice several types of animals after which run during the streets of Rome, slapping younger girls with the animal hides, a ritual that was once idea to ensure their well being and fertility for the 12 months.


Pope Gelasius

“And so Pope Gelasius, he was once across the 5th century… changed the Lupercalia with St Valentine’s Day,” added Fr Lupton.

Glasgow has its personal connections with the precious Saint, with a Catholic church within the Gorbals internet hosting relics of St Valentine, believed to be the forearm, one thing no different church in Scotland can declare.

It was once in 1999 that historians came upon that a part of the stays of St Valentine had been buried within the Church of Blessed St John Duns Scotus within the Gorbals. Those are these days on show contained in a 3ft-wide ornamental casket, with the phrases ‘Corpus Valentini Martyris’ gilded on it.

Glasgow, then again, isn’t the one town so that you can declare to be ‘the town of affection’ with relics of St Valentine additionally hosted in sacred websites in Dublin, Birmingham and Rome. However why Glasgow? And in particular, why the Gorbals?

St Valentine’s stays had been delivered to Glasgow through Franciscan priests who had been inspired through the Religion of Glaswegians.


John Duns Scotus

His bones had been firstly taken to St Francis’ Church in 1868 within the Gorbals (now closed) the place they had been contained ahead of being moved to the previous St Luke’s Church on Ballater Side road, which was once renamed Blessed John Duns Scotus Church in 1993.

Portions of ‘Valentine’s Day’ as we comprehend it are due to this fact fully unrelated to the actual St Valentine.

He for sure didn’t, for example, cross round taking pictures other folks (and even hearts for that subject) with bows and arrows. That imagery was once taken from the Roman god Cupid, who was once additionally a god of affection.

He additionally didn’t distribute goodies to his family members; the actual St Valentine predates goodies as we all know them through greater than 1500 years.


St Valentine’s instance

Then again, Christians can nonetheless be told a factor or two from the instance of St Valentine, even though they aren’t susceptible to exact martyrdom and in the event that they nonetheless want to ship an nameless card to a pal or circle of relatives member this weekend.

I guess it might be stated that during nearly each and every act of affection there is a component of self-giving and sacrifice concerned, none extra so than in the way in which Jesus portrayed at the Go and tactics during which Saints like Valentine renounced himself and gave his existence for the Religion.

Confidently this 12 months {couples} can develop in combination within the thriller of God’s love from the thriller of Valentine.

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