History of Valentine’s Day
Valentine’s Day is a day of ‘Romance’ and it is important to know the history of valentine’s day and the evolution of the name Valentine. Many of the early christian martyrs (killed because of religious beliefs or faith) were named ‘Valentine’. In 269 the priest of rome who was named the Valentine was put to death. And in 496 Pope added his death to the Saints calendar. However the relics of the great Saint Valentine was guarded in the Church and Catacombs of San Valentino, Rome. It was regarded as one of the most important pilgrim sites throughout the middle age period. The relics of the Saint Valentine were then transferred/taken to the church of Santa Prassede during the pontificate of Nicholas IV.
In Santa Maria in Cosmedin, Rome the flower-crowned skull of Saint Valentine is exhibited while other relics are found in Dublin, Ireland at Whitefriar Street Carmelite Church. Valentine of Terni became the Bishop of Interamna and was martyred by the emperor Aurelian in 273. He was then buried in Via Flaminia. His relics were located at the Basilica of Saint Valentine in Terni. Jack B. Oruch states that “the abstracts of the acts of the two great saints were in nearly every church and monastery of Europe.” However as per the catholic encyclopedia there was a third saint named Valentine who was mentioned in early martyrlogies, February 14. He was martyred in Africa with a number of his own fellow companions.
Saint Valentine’s head was preserved in the abbey of New Minister, Winchester and then venerated. February 14 is celebrated as St. Valentine’s Day in various christian denominations. In addition to this, the holy feast day of Saint Valentine is also given in the is also mentioned in the calendar of Saints. However, in the 1969 revision of the Roman Catholic Calendar of Saints, the feast day of Saint Valentine on February 14 was removed from the General Roman Calendar and relegated to particular calendars for reasons like: Though the memorial of the great Saint Valentine is ancient, it is left to particular calendars, since, apart from his name, nothing is known of Saint Valentine except that he was buried on the Via Flaminia on February 14. The feast day is still celebrated in Balzan, Malta where the relics of the saint are claimed to be found. Throughout the world by Traditionalist Catholics who follow the older, pre-Second Vatican Council calendar claim the same.
In the Eastern Orthodox Church, Saint Valentine is recognized on July 6, in which the Saint Valentine, the Roman presbyter, is honored. In addition to this, the Eastern Orthodox Church on July 30 observes the feast of Hieromartyr Valentine, Bishop of Interamna. In ancient Rome, February 13-15 was an archaic rite connected to fertility. The Jerusalem’s Purification of Mary on February 14 became the “Presentation of Jesus at the Temple” on February 2 as it was introduced to Rome and all the other places in the sixth century.
Once a poet Geoffrey Chaucer said ” On Saint Valentine’s day even every bird come to choose its mate”. And this is how the importance of Valentine’s Day spread far and wide. There had been exchanging of gifts and sweets on this day and finding or choosing the love of your life. It is said that in the Charter of the Court of Love the person who tries to find his love will definitely find his mate and survive. William Shakespeare and Charles d’Orleans, Rondeau VI have all loved poetry and written many a romantic poems and Sonnets for lovers.
To-morrow is Saint Valentine’s day,
All in the morning betime,
And I a maid at your window,
To be your Valentine.
Then up he rose, and donn’d his clothes,
And dupp’d the chamber-door;
Let in the maid, that out a maid
Never departed more.