Short Lives of the Saints – Saint Valentine, Priest and Martyr

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 CommonsEntry

Belonging to one of the noblest families of Rome, Saint Valentine (in the reign of Claudius II) was a priest, especially charged to assist the Christian confessors and martyrs. The emperor, hearing of his good works, sent for him; and the gentle, persuasive eloquence of Valentine (like that of Saint Paul before an earlier monarch) almost induced the emperor to become a follower of Christ. But considerations of state prevailed, and the meek Valentine was surrendered to the tribunal. Here he worked a great miracle by restoring sight to the daughter of one of the officers of the praetorium, who had been blind for two years; and the miracle converted the entire household of the judge, consisting of more than forty persons. The emperor, learning of this, sought to have Valentine released; but, fearing a tumult among the people, as in the case of Pilate, he consigned the just man to execution, and Saint Valentine was accordingly beheaded outside the city of Rome in the year 270.

Valentine: the name is good,
For it comes of lineage nigh
And a famous family;
And it tells of gentle blood,
Noble blood, and nobler still;
For its owner freely poured
Every drop there was to spill
In the battle for his Lord.
    – Saint John Henry Newman

Favorite Practice – In the cause of justice and truth td remember that “the wisdom of the flesh is death.”

MLA Citation

  • Eleanor Cecilia Donnelly. “Saint Valentine, Priest and Martyr”. Short Lives of the Saints, 1910. CatholicSaints.Info. 2 April 2021. Web. 23 April 2021. <>