The Legend of St. Valentine
February 27, 2017, 10:04 am
by Juliet Reyes, SJA Class of 2019
St. Valentine is still recognized as the patron saint of lovers, happy marriages, beekeepers, travelers, and love (Catholic.org).
This February, at Saint Joseph Academy, the Spanish Honor Society sold single stem roses for $3. Students could give the rose to someone special. Mr. Gamez, the Language Other Than English (LOTE) Dept. Chair, said that the funds raised help “...buy certificates for the induction ceremonies and buy costumes for the international festival.” The Spanish Honor Society sells flowers each year because they “believe in love and like to celebrate as a family at Saint Joseph Academy.”
The story of a saint connected to Valentine’s Day has been passed down as a legend. In the late third century, during Emperor Claudius’ reign, soldiers were forbidden to marry because the emperor believed families were distractions from their duty to serve Rome. At the time, Valentine was a priest and he performed wedding ceremonies for the soldiers in secret. Because of this, he was imprisoned and sentenced to be executed. On February 14, the day of his execution, he wrote his last letter to the jailer’s daughter as a goodbye and signed it: “from your Valentine” (World Religion News).
The true verification of Valentine still remains a mystery. The Roman Catholic Church removed him from the Roman calendar, but he is still recognized as the patron saint of lovers, happy marriages, beekeepers, travelers, and love (Catholic.org). Today, his skull is kept in a glass reliquary in the Basilica of Chiesa di Santa Maria in Rome, Italy. His skull is painted with the words St. Valentine covered by a crown of flowers (telegraph.co.uk/news).
Mr. Gamez further tied the legend of St. Valentine to roses, when he said St. Valentine “was defending love among people, to love or be loved is important in any age.” When words are not enough to express how people feel, we show it through special gestures.