Valentine’s lovebirds



Saint Valentine ‘s day is the sweetest feast of the year, as we celebrate love on this day, or sort of. Valentine, actually, was a bishop and martyr of the Christianity, so, how could he be associated to love? As far as we know, Saint Valentine came from a patrician family and was consecrated bishop of Terni ( a town of Umbria, in central Italy) in 197 a.d. when he was only 21. In the year 270 Valentinus (his latin name) was invited by the orator Cratone to come to Rome, to preach the Gospel and convert the pagans. Valentinus was arrested and was sent to the prefect of Rome, to the emperor Claudius II himself. Not at all intimidated, Valentinus tried to convince Claudius to embrace Christianity, whereupon Claudius not only refused, but condemned Valentinus to death. However, Claudius eventually pardoned him and entrusted him to the family of Judge Asterius. Valentinus was arrested a second time under Aurelian, who had succeeded Claudius II. The empire continued to persecute the Christians, and as the popularity of Valentinus was growing, the Roman soldiers captured him and took him out of town along the Via Flaminia to scourge him, fearing that the population could rise to his defense. He  was beheaded on the 14th of February 273, at the good age of 97, by the hand of a Roman soldier: Furius Placidus.

val4So, where is love? If we want to find a connection to love, we have to narrate some episodes of his life, which are surrounded by an aura of mystery and legend. One of them refers to the period when Valentine was under house arrest of Judge Asterius. There he performed for the first time the miracle of restoring sight to his blind adopted daughter. When Valentino was about to be beheaded, he performed this miracle a second time. Through his prayers, he succeeded in healing the jailer’s daughter who was suffering from blindness. On the day of his execution he left her a note that was signed “Your Valentine”.

According to another story, Valentine, former bishop of Terni, united in marriage the young Christian Serapio and the Roman centurion Sabino: the union was hampered by her parents, but once overcome their resistance, it was soon discovered that the young woman was seriously ill . The centurion called Valentino to the bedside of the dying woman and asked him never to be separated from his beloved: the holy bishop baptized him and then joined him in marriage to Serapio, after which, they both died.

val2Another legend tells that one day the bishop  saw a young couple, who were fighting. He went towards them holding a rose and invited them to hold it together in their hands: the couple departed reconciled. In another version of this story, the saint was able to inspire love in the two young people by making several pairs of pigeons fly around them. Those birds were so sweet as they seemed to exchange tender signs of affection; the word “lovebirds” has its origin from this episode. “Lovebirds“, in fact, is translated in Italian with the word “piccioncini” (little pigeons) and if we see somebody showing affection in public, we commonly say that they “tubano” (coo).

Therefore, “lovebirds” from all over the world, how are you going to spend your Saint Valentine’s day? .


24 thoughts on “Valentine’s lovebirds

  1. As I gathered from wikipedia( the real thing of knowledge) this Valentus was called in Roman, was actually jailed and killed by the Romans because this Saint wanted to marry Roman soldiers who where prohibited from marrying. So the poor guy actually was killed for trying to marry people. And as the story goes, he healed the daughter of his jailer so before being stabbed to death or whatever method they used to kill the poor guy, the jailer let him write a note to his daughter that said “your Valentine” as a farewell letter to his love one. Yet again, this was wikipedia talking. Yet again, I just want to prove me teacher wrong! (just like a kid)

    Hope you have a special Valentine´s day Mrs. Tink.

    • Hi Charly, I’ve always been of the opinion you would have been good at teaching. No kidding. 🙂 However, when the poor guy was eventually imprisoned and beheaded, he was 97 (!!!!!!) and I found hard to believe that at that age he was still secretely ” marrying” people. There isn’t much evidence about his life , which is mostly surrounded by mystery and legends, but they are all nice stories.
      Have a great day Charly
      Stefy (Mrs Tink)

  2. Thanks. I was wondering about the history of the day. It would be wonderful if everyday was Valentine’s Day — a day of Love. ❤ Hope your day is filled with Love.

  3. After weeks of painting and decorating and fitting around building work we spent St Valentine’s day shopping — for more paint! I did remember flowers though, and today we actually treated ourselves to a belated Valentine’s Day lunchtime meal out — before I came back and did more painting. Greater love hath no man than that he paint the home the colours desired by his better half.

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