What’s in a name?
The name “Valentine”, derives from the Latin valens (worthy, strong, powerful)
When was the first St Valentine’s Day?
Pope Gelasius I (492-496) included Valentine among all those “… whose names are justly reverenced among men, but whose acts are known only to God.”
Comment: Informative citation! Any other claim to fame?
Gelasius I suppressed the ancient Roman fertility festival of
which had given its name— dies februatus, from februare, “to purify”— to the month of February. It was replaced with a Christian festival celebrating the purification of the Virgin Mary
Candlemas is observed forty days after Christmas, on 2 February.
This started the practice of “Churching” for women after childbirth to “purify” them of the sin of sex that led to conception
Pope Gelasius I also affirmed the primacy of Rome over the entire Church, East and West. He set the model for subsequent popes asserting the claims of papal supremacy, due to the succession of the Roman Popes from the Apostle Peter
Comment: The unknown Gelasius I certainly had a long-term impact
Who was St Valentine?
There are 2 main contenders to the title:
1)a Roman priest who was martyred during the reign of Claudius II,
Roman emperor in 268–270 who enjoyed great popularity, and appears to have been a man of ability and character. Valentine was arrested and imprisoned because he was caught marrying Christian couples and otherwise aiding Christians who were at the time being persecuted by Claudius . Helping Christians was a crime.
You mean Valentine was a dissident?
And the hot favourite is the
2) Bishop of Interamna (modern Terni)
who was imprisoned and tortured in Rome on February 14, 273, while on a visit to marry Roman Legionnaire Sabinus to Christian Serapia.
So he was a dissident
How and when did Valentine die?
14th February 269, 270, or 273 AD?
Claudius took a liking to Valentine – until he tried to convert the Emperor – whereupon Valentine was condemned to death and beheaded outside
the Flaminian Gate
the Milvian bridge in Rome
Roman Prefect Placid Furious condemned Valentine to death during a persecution ordered by
Emperor Aurelian (270-75), a common soldier who was proclaimed by the army as successor to Claudius II, because Valentine tried to replace the Lupercalia with a Christian rite
What’s the source of Valentine’s Day Romance
1)In prison Valentine healed the jailer’s daughter who was suffering from blindness. On the day of his execution he left her a note that was signed “Your Valentine.”
2) Geoffrey Chaucer’s Parlement of Foules first referred to St Valentine’s Day as a special day for lovers and romantic love. During the Middle Ages it was believed that birds paired as couples in mid-February.
When we think about traditional notions of romance, we might think of things like jewellery, showy proposals,
a man sweeping a woman off of her feet. These acts are tied to the notion of the male as not just the provider, but the romantic actor, and the woman as the passive recipient of romantic acts. It’s not uncommon for men to feel threatened by women who aren’t subservient or who don’t need a male breadwinner to take care of them.
Let’s look at the other side of St Valentine’s Day
1 Billion Rising in an attempt to to end violence against women globally.