Musings of a Museum Fanatic: St. Valentine

2.26.2014

St. Valentine

I know this post is little late being at the end of the month but when I made my topic schedule that's just how it ended up so I'm gonna talk about St. Valentine and you will like it!
St. Valentine
Being that Valentine's day happened not too long ago I thought it would be fun to chat about how the holiday came about. This brings us all the way back to the late 200's ... yes that is not a typo I meant 200's. What information we have about St. Valentine states that he was a Roman priest during that time period. During the time of Claudius Gothicus or Claudius II, St. Valentine was stirring up all sorts of trouble. He was going around performing Christian marriages for couples. Which was kind of a big no no. In addition to that he was just helping out Christians in general which the Emperor was not a big fan of.

So when St. Valentine was caught doing these things he was tossed in jail. Somehow along the way Claudius and Valentine took a liking to each other. Who knows how that happened?! Well it was Valentine's lucky day, since Claudius took a shining to him Valentine decided to push his luck and try to convert the Emperor. That did not end well for him. After attempting to beat and stone him to death he was then finally beheaded somewhere between 269-273, multiple dates have been given for his martyrdom.

In addition to that main story there are other smaller ones that have popped up throughout the years. One states that Valentine became friends with the jailer's daughter and wrote her letters, signing them "From your Valentine" in another version this letter was to his wife. There are also multiple stories of multiple Valetines who were clergy in different countries at about the same time but all were martyred.

Some sources point to the fact that in the 1400's the middle of February was known for it's holiday's related to romantic love and like most pagan holidays, the Church decided to attach one of their feast days to it so it would be an easier transition for the people. It's also said that in the Middle Ages people believed birds mated in mid-February and that was attributed to the romance of St. Valentine. I don't know about birds anywhere else but any birds in Chicago trying to pair up this month are not going to have a fun time of it! I would not want to try to catch a guy in -30 degree wind chill eep. 

1 comment

  1. And before then, we had Lupercalia, the Greek festival of fertility, that landed about that time. :)

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