Valentin of Terni was born in Terni in 226 A.D. and died in Rome on 14 February 269, his name meaning the strong.
According to tradition, Valentin was a poor, honourable priest who is said to have healed a blind girl.
He gave a flower from his garden to those seeking help and comfort. Despite a ban by Emperor Claudius II, he married lovers according to Christian rites and helped in partnership crises, which is why he was beheaded.
The custom of celebrating Valentine’s Day as Lovers’ Day goes back to the feast day for the Roman goddess Juno, because the mating season of birds begins in mid-February.
Juno, the protector of marriage and family, was sacrificed flowers on this day. The women were also given flowers on this day.
Saint Valentine reliquary in Santa Maria in Cosmedin (Rome)
Saint Valentine with Christ in Santa Prassede (Rome)
On February 14th and 15th the Roman Lupercalia, the feast of the wolf, had already taken place before. On this day, the rituals for sexual maturity were held for the first menstruation of girls and marriages were entered into after they had reached maturity.
In the Middle Ages, the custom of celebrating Valentine as patron saint of lovers first appeared in France, Belgium and England. Valentin soon became one of the most popular saints.
February 14th was also the day of the great feasts of sailors, guilds, guilds and brotherhoods. In the Hanseatic cities the guilds met on Valentine’s Day for a friendly meal.
He is considered the patron saint of lovers, fiancées and beekeepers.