A Brief History of Saint Valentine

The following is a presentation from Council 5207 Lecturer, John F. Meyer, and his wife Evelyn Meyer giving some insight on Saint Valentine:

Who was he?


A 3rd Century Roman Saint, Saint Valentine was the Bishop of Terni, an important town of Umbria, in central Italy. His feast day is the day of his death when he was martyred in 269 A.D.


Saint Valentine is the Patron Saint of Epilepsy. He is also the Patron Saint of Affianced couples, against fainting, beekeepers, happy marriages, love, plague.

Valentine was arrested for protecting Christians and imprisoned by Judge Asterius. While Valentine was under house arrest, he discussed the validity of Jesus. The judge put Valentine to the test and asked him to heal his blind daughter. Which Valentine did. He put his hands over her eyes and prayed. The judge’s daughter was cured. The judge then became a Christian and released all Christian prisoners.


Valentine was later arrested again for marrying couples so the man would not be conscripted into the Roman Army. He was sent to Emperor Claudius Gothicus. Valentine admitted he was a Christian and Claudius condemned him to death.


Valentine was beaten with clubs and then beheaded outside the Flaminian Gate. He was beheaded on February 14, 269 A.D. February 14 was established as his feast day by Pope GelsiusI in 496 A.D.

Valentine’s relics include his skull crowned with flowers in the Basilica Saint Maris in Rome. His bodily remains were deposited in St Anton's Church, Madrid, where they have lain since the late 1700s. They were a present from the Pope to King Carlos IV, who entrusted them to the Order of Poor Clerics Regular of the Mother of God of the Pious Schools (Piarists). The relics have been displayed publicly since 1984, in a foundation open to the public at all times in order help people in need. Other minor relics are found in churches in many countries.


Anglican, Lutherans and Eastern Orthodox celebrate Valentine as a saint.


His attributes are birds, roses, bishop’s robes, sword, a child with epilepsy, and giving sight to a blind girl.



From a presentation by Evelene K Meyer.

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