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Who was Saint Valentine?

Born in Terni around the year 226, Saint Valentine was a 3rd-century Roman saint, commemorated in Western Christianity on February 14 and in Eastern Orthodoxy on July 6.

From the High Middle Ages, his Saints' Day has been associated with a tradition of courtly love. He is also a patron Saint of Terni, epilepsy and beekeepers.

Saint Valentine was a clergyman – either a priest or a bishop – in the Roman Empire who ministered to persecuted Christians.

He was martyred in the year 269 aged 42 or 43 and his body buried on the Via Flaminia on February 14.

The Feast of Saint Valentine, also known as Saint Valentine's Day, was established by Pope Gelasius I in AD 496 to be celebrated on February 14 in honour of the Christian martyr.

Relics of him were kept in the Church and Catacombs of San Valentino in Rome, which "remained an important pilgrim site throughout the Middle Ages until the relics of St. Valentine were transferred to the church of Santa Prassede during the pontificate of Nicholas IV".

His skull, crowned with flowers, is exhibited in the Basilica of Santa Maria in Cosmedin, Rome. Other relics of him are in Whitefriar Street Carmelite Church, Dublin, Ireland. A popular place of pilgrimage, especially on Saint Valentine's Day, for those seeking love.

Want to learn more about Valentines Day? Check out the video below that delves into the dark origins of what has become the international festival of love.

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