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Valentine's Day

"The best and most beautiful things in the world cannot be seen or even touched. They must be felt with the heart.”

– Helen Keller (1880-1968)

Saint Valentine of Rome is a widely recognized 3rd-century Roman saint commemorated on February 14. Since the High Middle Ages he has been most associated with a tradition of courtly love. According to legend, when Emperor Claudius II decided that single men made better soldiers than those with wives and families, he outlawed marriage for young men. Valentine, realizing the injustice of the decree, defied Claudius and continued to perform marriages for young lovers in secret. In addition, St. Valentine is the patron saint of: Affianced couples, beekeepers, happy marriages, love, and can intercede against fainting, plague and epilepsy!

From The History of Valentine's Day:

 

The Catholic Church recognizes at least three different saints named Valentine or Valentinus, all of whom were martyred. One legend contends that Valentine was a priest who served during the third century in Rome. When Emperor Claudius II decided that single men made better soldiers than those with wives and families, he outlawed marriage for young men. Valentine, realizing the injustice of the decree, defied Claudius and continued to perform marriages for young lovers in secret. When Valentine’s actions were discovered, Claudius ordered that he be put to death.

Other stories suggest that Valentine may have been killed for attempting to help Christians escape harsh Roman prisons, where they were often beaten and tortured. According to one legend, an imprisoned Valentine actually sent the first “valentine” greeting himself after he fell in love with a young girl–possibly his jailor’s daughter–who visited him during his confinement. Before his death, it is alleged that he wrote her a letter signed “From your Valentine,” 

This tartan, designed by Carol A.L. Martin, was inspired by colours and symbols of a modern Valentine's Day, hearts and roses.  

For more about the dark origins of Valentine's Day, click the red and ultra-violet hearts!