Valentine

third century
February 14

How Feb. 14 came to be celebrated as the feast for lovers is somewhat a mystery. What little is known of the feast’s namesake can be attributed to the lives of two martyrs: one a priest, the other a bishop. Their lives have no connection to the contemporary holiday. The priest Valentine reportedly was beheaded in 269 by Emperor Claudius II. The bishop, known for healing, was martyred earlier. It’s probable that a medieval custom of sending messages of love on this day somehow merged later with the feast.

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