Who Is St. Valentine?

Source: The History Channel

It’s Valentine’s Day!!! Or is it? For many of us, that’s today. However, did you know in the Roman Catholic Church there are more than a dozen St. Valentine’s?

St. Valentina of Palestine was martyred for refusing to marry out of her devotion for Christ.  St. Valentine of Raetia was a fifth century monk and later missionary to the Germanic Tribes; and St. Valentine of Viterbo was a fourth century missionary martyr during the Diocletian persecutions for preaching the gospel.

The Valentine of our modern day Valentine’s tradition is St. Valentine of Rome — a third century Christian who is believed to have been the Bishop of Terni, Narnia and Amelia. While on house arrest, he shared the gospel of Jesus with Judge Asterius. Seeking to test the sincerity of his faith, Judge Asterius asked Valentine to restore sight to his blind daughter. If he succeeded, the judge vowed to do anything for Valentine.

Valentine placed his hands on the young maiden’s eyes and her sight was restored. Judge Asterius proceeded to get rid of all the idols in his house and was baptized with his family and his 44 member household. Further, Judge Asterius freed all the Christian prisoners in his custody.

Later, Valentine was arrested again for preaching and sent to Emperor Claudius Gothicus (Claudius II) in Rome. Early sources say he was marrying Christian couples and aiding those being persecuted. Valentine even attempted to convert Claudius II, to the emperor’s outrage.

Claudius commanded Valentine renounce his faith or be beaten and beheaded. When Valentine refused, he was executed outside the Flaminian Gate on February 14, circa 269. Today, the Feast Day of St. Valentine of Rome is who we celebrate our modern Valentine’s Day customs.

However, just in case Valentine’s Day was not to your liking, it’s not too late to have that special someone be your Valentine on one of the alternative feasts days of the other St. Valentine’s: July 25 (St. Valentina of Palestine), November 3 (St. Valentine of Viterbo); and January 7 (St. Valentine of Raetia).

Source: The History Channel