Did You Know: St. Valentine

It's not only about the candy.

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Did You Know: St. Valentine

Mary Theresa Pitre

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Did you know… that St. Valentine’s Day isn’t just about chocolate, roses and awkward dates? In fact,  the celebration of St. Valentine’s Day is actually based off of a saint. Saint Valentine was a third century saint who died in Italy in the year 269. Although it is not proven, many sources believe that the romantic side of Valentine’s Day was created by the ancient Roman festival of Lupercalia. The festival was celebrated in mid-February to honor a Roman god named Lupercus, and it included certain traditions associated with love and finding one’s mate. Pope Celasius decided to change this festival into a celebration of St. Valentine since his feast day was also in mid-February.  

saint valentineBarely anything is known about St. Valentine’s personal life, so little, in fact, that in 1969, the Catholic Church removed him from the general Roman Calendar, due to the confusion about his life and the origins of the commonly known holiday celebrated in many places around the world. Even though his feast day is not officially celebrated in the Church, he is still recognized as a saint and is the patron saint of love, happy marriages and young people.

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