Happy St. Valentine’s Day

St. Valentine’s Day is one of the several days, along with St. Patrick’s Day and Christmas, which sinister agents of the Roman Catholic Pope have stealthily slipped into the holiday calendar here in the New World despite the best efforts of early Massachusetts Puritans.

Here is the authentic and ancient story of Valentine.  

Here beginneth the Life of Saint Valentine, and first the interpretation of his name.

Valentine is as much to say as containing valor, that is, perseverant in great holiness. Valentine is said also as a valiant knight, for he was a right noble knight of God, and the knight is said valiant that fleeth not, and smiteth and defendeth valiantly and overcometh much puissantly.

And so Saint Valentine withdrew him not from his martyrdom in fleeing, he smote in destroying the idols, he defended the faith, he overcame in suffering.

Of Saint Valentine the martyr.

Saint Valentine, friend of our Lord and priest of great authority, was at Rome. It happed that Claudius the emperor made him to come tofore him and said to him in demanding: What thing is that which I have heard of thee, Valentine? Why wilt thou not abide in our amity, and worship the idols and renounce the vain opinion of thy creance?

Saint Valentine answered him: If thou hadst very knowledge of the grace of Jesu Christ thou shouldest not say this that thou sayest, but shouldest reny the idols and worship very God.

Then said to Saint Valentine a prince which was of the council of the emperor: What wilt thou say of our gods and of their holy life?

And Saint Valentine answered: I say none other thing of them but that they were men mortal and mechant and full of all ordure and evil.

Then said Claudius the emperor: If Jesu Christ be God verily, wherefore sayst thou not the truth?

And Saint Valentine said: Certainly Jesu Christ is only very God, and if thou believe in him, verily thy soul shall be saved, thy realm shall multiply, and he shall give to thee alway victory of thine enemies.

Then Claudius turned him unto all them that were there, and said to them: Lords, Romans, hear ye how wisely and reasonably this man speaketh?

Anon the provost of the city said: The emperor is deceived and betrayed, how may we leave that which we have holden and been accustomed to hold sith our infancy?

With these words the emperor turned and changed his courage, and Saint Valentine was delivered in the keeping of the provost.

When Saint Valentine was brought in an house in prison, then he prayed to God, saying: Lord Jesu Christ very God, which art very light, enlumine this house in such wise that they that dwell therein may know thee to be very God.

And the provost said: I marvel me that thou sayest that thy God is very light, and nevertheless, if he may make my daughter to hear and see, which long time hath been blind, I shall do all that thou commandest me, and shall believe in thy God.

Saint Valentine anon put him in prayers, and by his prayers the daughter of the provost received again her sight, and anon all they of the the house were converted.

After, the emperor did do smite off the head of Saint Valentine, the year of our Lord two hundred and eighty. Then let us pray to Saint Valentine that he get us pardon of our sins. Amen.

The Golden Legend of Jacobus de Voragine.

Vocabulary note for those who never read old books:

  • Mechant: wickedness.
  • Creance: a falcon’s leash, also a metaphor for faith.
  • Reny: To renounce; abjure; disown; abandon; deny.
  • Enlumine: to light up.
  • Sith: a wicked Jedi (just kidding. It means since.)

Now, why is a martyr who restored sight to the blind, and converted his jailer, the patron saint of young lovers?

This is from the CatholicSaintsInfo page on this saint and martyr:

There are several theories about the origin of Valentine’s Day celebrations that relate to love and sentiment.

Some believe the Romans had a mid-February custom where boys drew the names of girls in honour of the sex and fertility goddess, Februata Juno; pastors “baptised” this holiday, like some others, by substituting the names of saints such as Valentine to suppress the practice.

Others maintain that the custom of sending Valentines on 14 February stems from the belief that birds begin to pair on that date; by 1477 the English associated lovers with the feast of Valentine because on that day “every bird chooses him a mate.” The custom of men and women writing love letters to their Valentine started on this day.

Other “romance” traditions have become attached to this feast, including pinning bay leaves to your pillow on Valentine’s Eve so that you will see your future mate that night in your dreams.

For the record, Valentine is the patron saint of:

  • affianced couples
  • against epilepsy
  • against fainting
  • against plague
  • apiarists (bee keepers)
  • betrothed couples
  • Bussolengo, Italy
  • engaged couples
  • greeting card manufacturers
  • happy marriages
  • love & lovers
  • travellers
  • young people

The liturgical prayer to Saint Valentine:

Grant, we beseech Thee, almighty God, that we may he freed from all threatening dangers through the intercession of Thy holy martyr Valentine, whose birthday we celebrate.