Wednesday, February 08, 2006

St. Valentine

For all your "Who was St. Valentine again?" needs...

Such little significance is attached to the memory of St. Valentine that even in the Spanish capital of Madrid in 2005 only a handful of people visited the Church of St. Anton, where what is believed to be his skeleton is kept on a side altar in a glass-fronted baroque case.

The giving of valentines originated in northern Europe soon after the arrival of Christianity. In England, St. Valentine's Day customs were mentioned by St. Bede, a Benedictine monk, as early as the eighth century. References later appear in the works of Geoffrey Chaucer and William Shakespeare.

In medieval France, the feast day was marked by jousting tournaments punctuated by recitals of amorous poetry. In European countries, as in North America, St. Valentine is very much the "patron saint of lovers."

The story is here.

No comments: