The Feast of Saint Valentine
Valentine's Day, also called Saint Valentine's Day or the Feast of Saint Valentine, is a holiday that takes place on February 14. Nowadays, it is recognized as a significant cultural, religious, and commercial celebration of love and romance in many places all around the world. However, did you know that on this day we are honoring more than one saint named Valentinus?
Although most of the people think there is only one saint that is honored on this day, there are three Valentine saints that are honored on this day, and there's even a Pope Valentine!
What does the name “Valentinus” mean?
“Valentinus” is a Latin that means strong and powerful, and was a popular name between the second and eighth centuries AD.
The First Valentine: Saint Valentine of Rome
In the 3rd-century, the Roman Saint served was serving in Rome where Emperor Claudius banned his soldiers from getting involved in relationships or marrying since he believed that single men made better soldiers. But Saint Valentine did not share the Emperor's views and continued to secretly perform weddings for young soldiers who were in love. When Claudius came to know that Saint Valentine disobeyed him, and kept on performing secret weddings and ministering to Christians persecuted under the Roman Empire, he beheaded him on February 14, 269 AD, the reason this martyred Christian saint became to be known as the patron saint of the forbidden love, “engaged couples and anyone wishing to marry". Even while he was waiting for his execution, young lovers kept on visiting him and giving him letters that primarily focused on how much love is better than war.
Did you know?
- Valentine gave the married couple flowers from his garden as a wedding gift which is why flowers play a very important role on Valentine's Day.
- St Valentine's skull is adorned in flowers and on display in the Basilica of Santa Maria, Cosmedin, Rome, and other parts of the saint is on display in the Czech Republic, Ireland, Scotland, England and France.
The Second Valentine: Saint Valentine of Terni
He was a priest who was jailed for ministering to Christians persecuted under the Roman Empire. During his imprisonment, he fell in love with the jailer's daughter and sent her a card and signed it, "Love, your Valentine" as a farewell. This is why love notes and greetings are on Valentine’s Day are called valentines. He was eventually beheaded and buried on the Via Flaminia. His relics are at the Basilica of Saint Valentine in Terni (Basilica di San Valentino).
The Third Valentine:
This saint was mentioned in early martyrologies under date of February 14, however, not much is known about him (The Catholic Encyclopedia).
Valentine’s Day in the Holy Land
As in many western societies, Valentine's Day is celebrated in the Holy Land on the 14 February where people exchanges gifts of affection like flowers, cards, chocolate and luxurious gifts. Moreover, many Christians pray for more love and peace in the Holy Land due to the prevailing political situation. “Above all, [God told us to] be loving. This ties everything together perfectly.” Colossians 3:14
Whether you are single or in a relationship, let these Bible verses encourage you to celebrate, for God has unconditional and indescribable love for us.
- Whoever does not love does not know God, because God is love. 1 John 4:8
- Love must be sincere. Hate what is evil; cling to what is good. Romans 12:9
- No one has ever seen God; but if we love one another, God lives in us and his love is made complete in us. 1 John 4:12
- Dear children, let us not love with words or speech but with actions and in truth. 1 John 3:18
- Dear friends, let us love one another, for love comes from God. Everyone who loves has been born of God and knows God. Whoever does not love does not know God, because God is love. 1 John 4:7-8
- We love because he first loved us. 1 John 4:19
We, the Bethlehem Handicrafts’ team, are so proud to put the Holy Land in your hand by giving you a variety of the best and the most outstanding original Bethlehem’s olive wood carvings with the best quality made in the Holy Land.