St. Valentine - February 14th
Patron Saint of: Engaged Couples, bee keepers, fainting, epilepsy, happy marriages, love, lovers, young people
Valentine was a Third Century Roman priest and martyr during the reign of Claudius II, known as Claudius the Goth. He was arrested for helping Christians who were being persecuted by Claudius in Rome and for performing marriage ceremonies between young Christian couples. While imprisoned, Valentine would not sway from answering the questions of the Emperor, responding honestly about his beliefs.
Valentine was trying to convert Claudius. Regardless of what was asked, Valentine would not renounce his faith so Claudius, who was weakening, had him sent away. The guard where he was imprisoned listened as Valentine preached. As the legend goes, the guard had a daughter who was blind. He asked Valentine to heal her and after he prayed to Jesus and touched her eyes, the little girl regained her sight. Many of the members of the guard’s family converted to Christianity.
Upon hearing this, Claudius condemned Valentine to death.
The night before his execution, he wrote the young girl a note, and signed it, “From your Valentine.” Valentine was beaten with clubs and stoned and finally beheaded around 269.
He was buried on the Flaminian Way and a Basilica was erected at the place of his death.
On the same day, another Valentine, Bishop of Terni, was imprisoned and beheaded by Placidus, prefect of Terni, about sixty miles outside Rome. Many believe that the two are one in the same priest who was brought to Rome for execution and buried on the Flaminian Way.
Valentine was the name of several of the martyred saints of ancient Rome. It is uncertain whether this feast celebrates more than one saint.
Prayer to Saint Valentine
O glorious advocate and protector, St. Valentine,
Look with pity upon our wants, hear our prayers,
relieve by your intercession the miseries under which we labor,
and obtain for us the divine blessing, that we may be found
worthy to join you in praising the Almighty for all eternity:
through the merits of Our Lord Jesus Christ.