Saint Valentine's Day
Early accounts of Valentinus (Saint Valentine) are hard to find, however, a nucleus of facts from early sources indicate that he was a Bishop of Terni, Italy. He was under house arrest (possibly for performing Christian marriage ceremonies and otherwise aiding Christians - considered crimes at this time in the Roman Empire). When his jailor, Judge Asterius asked him to prove his faith in Jesus was warranted, the judge's blind daughter was brought to him, and by prayer and laying on of hands her vision was restored.
Asterius was humbled and asked what he should do, Valentine suggested that he be baptized in the name of Christ. Asterius did so along with his household and freed all those incarcerated for Christianity under his charge.
Valentinus was again arrested on a trip to Rome, where he was sent to Claudius Gothicus, the Emperor of Rome. Claudius took a liking to him, but Valentinus would not refute his faith in Jesus. Claudius ordered him to be beaten with clubs, and if he still refused, beheaded.
This sentence was carried out outside the Flaminian Gate on February the 14th in the year 269.
Pope Gelasius I commemorated the first Feast of Saint Valentine in 496, naming him among other martyrs to be honored on that day.
Geoffrey Chaucer first introduced Saint Valentine to the English speaking world, and was the first to associate him with courtly love.
Saint Valentine is recognized by Roman Catholic, Anglican, Lutheran and Baptist denominations, as well as others.
He is associated with fiancés, roses, beekeepers, happy marriages, those in need, and birds, as it was believed that birds chose their mates in mid-February.
A palm frond is the symbol of a martyr in artistic Christian symbolism.
Btw, the fact that the negative space in the center of this composition forms the shape of a heart was an "accident" - LOVE it when that happens!
Thank you to Georgia Lee
for using her star to feature this piece. It is special to me,