St. Valentine, represented with birds and roses, is the Patron Saint of affianced couples, bee keepers, engaged couples, epilepsy, fainting, greetings, happy marriages, love, lovers, plague, travelers, and young people. Historical records point to three different St. Valentines, all sharing Feb. 14 for a feast day. The first St. Valentine was a priest and physician in Rome. The second St. Valentine suffered martyrdom in Africa.
The third St. Valentine, with the most common story of the three, was the Bishop of Interamna (now Terni, 60 miles from Rome) who was imprisoned for converting people to Christianity, marrying Christian couples and aiding Christians being persecuted by Claudius in Rome–all of which were considered serious crimes. And when St. Valentine attempted to convince Claudius of Christianity, Claudius became raged commanding him to renounce his faith or be beaten with clubs and beheaded. St. Valentine refused to renounce his Christianity and faith and was executed outside the Flaminian Gate on February14 of which stories claim occurred either in the year 269, 270, 273 or 280.
Looking at the example of this great saint, remember God’s words, “This is my commandment: love one another as I love you. No has greater love than this, to lay down one’s life for one’s friends” (Jn 15:12-13). St. Valentine fulfilled this command, and may we do the same.