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Who was St. Valentine?
The remains of Saint Valentine at San Anton's church in central Madrid – Photo: Andrea Comas/ REUTERS

Who was St. Valentine?

14/02/2018
12:38
Newsroom
Mexico City
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Valentine's Day is named after St. Valentine, patron saint of lovers!

Saint Valentine was a bishop who gained notoriety for helping the young people of Rome compose love letters, thus becoming the patron saint of lovers.

Despite his existence is disputed, it is possible that the beloved bishop was one of three martyrs executed in the time of the Roman Empire—a doctor who became a priest and who married soldiers, even if it was a forbidden custom, a bishop christened Valentine who lived in the city of Raetia, Italy, in the fifth century, and a bishop in the city of Interamna, Umbria, Italy, who was decapitated by a Roman Emperor on February 14, 269.

The remains of the later were originally found in Roman catacombs in the eighteenth century and they have been on display at San Anton's church in central Madrid, Spain, for 200 years.

It should be noted that this historical figure was martyred for that reason. It is said that the festival in its honor replaced pagan celebrations in honor of the Juno, the Roman goddess of marriage and fertility.

Valentine's Day gained popularity in the Middle Ages and later the English and the French associated lovers with the feast of Valentine because on that day every bird chooses a mate.

Even though the origins of St. Valentine will remain uncorroborated, the concept of showing love on February 14 has spread over time into the celebration we know today!
 

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