Skip to main content

Valentine, St.

VALENTINE, ST.

The Roman Martyrology commemorates two martyrs named Valentine on February 14, indicating that both

were beheaded on the Flaminian Way, one at Rome, the other at Terni some 60 miles from the capital. Valentine of Rome was a priest who is said to have died c. 269 during the persecution of Claudius the Goth. The other Valentine was allegedly bishop of Terni, and his death is attested to in the martyrology of st. jerome. Whether there were actually one or two Valentines is disputed. O. Marucchi held for two. H. Delehaye thought that Valentine of Terni may have been brought to Rome for execution and that two cults, one at Rome, another at Terni, sprang up to the same martyr. The late medieval custom of sending love notes on Saint Valentine's Day stems probably from the belief that it marked the mating season of birds.

According to the liberian catalogue and the Liber pontificalis, Pope julius i (336356) built a basilica on the Via Flaminia, two miles from Rome, over the sepulcher of the martyr, a Valentine whose cult is attested to by fourth-century inscriptions. Remains of the memoria have recently been unearthed and indicate that an original three-nave church was rebuilt with colonnades substituted for walls, and that later a crypt and presbyterium were added. The Notitia ecclesiarum credits Pope Honorius I (625638) with a reconstruction, whereas Popes Benedict II (684685), Adrian I (772795), Leo III (795816), and Gregory IV (827844) adorned and rebuilt the church. In 1060 Abbot Teubald restored the church and monastery. In 1905 fragments of an epigraph composed by Pope damasus i and a marble sarcophagus adorned with a fourth-century representation of Christ before Pilate and two soldiers beneath a crux invicta were discovered. The body of the martyr seems to have been translated to the chapel of St. Zeno in Prassede in the 13th century.

Parts of a subterranean cemetery near the church of St. Valentine were discovered by P. Ugonio and A. Bosio in 1594, and in 1877 O. Marucchi rediscovered the site, which contained many archeological artifacts from a.d. 318 to 523, among them several fragments inscribed with the name of Valentine, and the decoration on a sarcophagus representing a ship called "Thecla" with Paul at the helm.

Feast: February 14.

Bibliography: Acta Sanctorum February 2:75162. o. marucchi, Il cimitero e la basilica di S. Valentino (Rome 1890); Le Catacombe romane (Rome 1932). h. delehaye, Les Origines du culte des martyrs (2d ed. Brussels 1933) 270, 315316. h. a. kelly, Chaucer and the Cult of Saint Valentine (Leiden 1986). n. wilkins, ed., Two miracles: La nonne qui laissa son abbaie; [and] Saint Valentin (New York 1973). r. sabuda, Saint Valentine (New York 1992). c. c. f. hÜlsen, Le chiese di Roma (Florence 1927). b. m. apollon j-ghetti, Rivista di archeologia cristiana 25 (1949) 171189.

[e. day]

Cite this article
Pick a style below, and copy the text for your bibliography.

  • MLA
  • Chicago
  • APA

"Valentine, St.." New Catholic Encyclopedia. . Encyclopedia.com. 19 Sep. 2018 <http://www.encyclopedia.com>.

"Valentine, St.." New Catholic Encyclopedia. . Encyclopedia.com. (September 19, 2018). http://www.encyclopedia.com/religion/encyclopedias-almanacs-transcripts-and-maps/valentine-st

"Valentine, St.." New Catholic Encyclopedia. . Retrieved September 19, 2018 from Encyclopedia.com: http://www.encyclopedia.com/religion/encyclopedias-almanacs-transcripts-and-maps/valentine-st

Learn more about citation styles

Citation styles

Encyclopedia.com gives you the ability to cite reference entries and articles according to common styles from the Modern Language Association (MLA), The Chicago Manual of Style, and the American Psychological Association (APA).

Within the “Cite this article” tool, pick a style to see how all available information looks when formatted according to that style. Then, copy and paste the text into your bibliography or works cited list.

Because each style has its own formatting nuances that evolve over time and not all information is available for every reference entry or article, Encyclopedia.com cannot guarantee each citation it generates. Therefore, it’s best to use Encyclopedia.com citations as a starting point before checking the style against your school or publication’s requirements and the most-recent information available at these sites:

Modern Language Association

http://www.mla.org/style

The Chicago Manual of Style

http://www.chicagomanualofstyle.org/tools_citationguide.html

American Psychological Association

http://apastyle.apa.org/

Notes:
  • Most online reference entries and articles do not have page numbers. Therefore, that information is unavailable for most Encyclopedia.com content. However, the date of retrieval is often important. Refer to each style’s convention regarding the best way to format page numbers and retrieval dates.
  • In addition to the MLA, Chicago, and APA styles, your school, university, publication, or institution may have its own requirements for citations. Therefore, be sure to refer to those guidelines when editing your bibliography or works cited list.