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Thursday, February 14, 2008

Why CeleBraTe VaLenTine DaY.. de story BehinD


Valentine's Day is a holiday celebrated on February 14. In North America, it is the traditional day on which lovers express their love for each other by sending Valentine's cards, presenting flowers, or offering confectionery. The holiday is named after two among the numerous Early Christian martyrs named Valentine. The day became associated with romantic love in the circle of Geoffrey Chaucer in High Middle Ages, when the tradition of courtly love flourished.

History

Numerous early Christian martyrs were named Valentine. Until 1969, the Catholic Church formally recognized eleven Valentine's Days. The Valentines honored on February 14 are:

Valentine of Rome (Valentinus presb. m. Romae): a priest in Rome who suffered martyrdom about AD 269 and was buried on the Via Flaminia. His relics are at the Church of Saint Praxed in Rome.[1] and at Whitefriar Street Carmelite Church in Dublin, Ireland.
Valentine of Terni (Valentinus ep. Interamnensis m. Romae): He became bishop of Interamna (modern Terni) about AD 197 and is said to have been killed during the persecution of Emperor Aurelian. He is also buried on the Via Flaminia, but in a different location than Valentine of Rome. His relics are at the Basilica of Saint Valentine in Terni (Basilica di San Valentino).
The Catholic Encyclopedia also speaks of a third saint named Valentine who was mentioned in early martyrologies under date of 14 February. He was martyred in Africa with a number of companions, but nothing more is known about him.

Some sources say the Valentine linked to romance is Valentine of Rome, others say Valentine of Terni.[citation needed] Some scholars (such as the Bollandists[citation needed]) have concluded that the two were originally the same person. In any case, no romantic elements are present in the original Early Medieval biographies of either of these martyrs.

An overview of attested traditions relevant to the holiday is presented below, with the legends about Valentine himself discussed in the end.

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