Who is this St Valentine Anyway?

Friday 14th February 2014 will be a day some look forward to, whilst others dread it. Why do people set themselves up for a fall by creating something heartbreaking like St Valentine’s Day? photo of red rose

The Feast Day of Saint Valentinus was created by Pope Gelasius I in 496. Very little seems to be known about him, but the basic facts seem to be that he was a Christian during a time in the Roman Empire that it was not a good idea to have such a faith. The Emperor Claudius II was displeased by his existence and had him put to death, martyred.

photo of beeSt Valentine is often depicted with birds and roses. He is, among other things, the patron saint of beekeepers.

Oddly enough it seems that it may have been the English, not renowned for their passions, who invented the romantic traditions associated with St Valentine’s feast. The association arose from the idea that birds start to bill and coo around the middle of February. The first written reference to St Valentine’s Day being a day of wooing is from Chaucer’s Parlement of Foules, those who wish to read the full text can find it here, people who don’t like to suffer can just read the extract below:

This noble emperesse, ful of grace, Bad every foul to take his owne place,  As they were wont alwey fro yeer to yere,  Seynt Valentynes day, to stonden there.

It just remains for me to wish all my lovely readers a very Happy St Valentine’s Day! See, somebody loves you.

illustration of rambling ratz in heart


4 thoughts on “Who is this St Valentine Anyway?

  1. Pingback: Happy Valentine’s Day | rambling ratz

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