Saint Valentine of Rome

detail of an altar piece showing Saint Valentine, date and artist unknown; Abbey Church of Our Lady, Guebwiller, Haut-Rhin, Alsace, France; photographed on 11 May 2015 by Ralph Hammann; swiped from Wikimedia CommonsMemorial


Priest in Rome, possibly a bishop. Physician. Imprisoned for giving aid to martyrs in prison, and while there converted the jailer by restoring sight to the jailer‘s daughter. While Valentine of Terni and Valentine of Rome sometimes have separate entries in martyrologies and biographies, most scholars believe they are the same person.

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.





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  • MLA Citation

    • “Saint Valentine of Rome“. CatholicSaints.Info. 21 September 2021. Web. 7 December 2021. <>