Oil dedicated to St Valentine on prayer cloth
St Valentine, is a third-century Roman saint. He is widely celebrated on February 14. Also, he is commonly associated with “courtly love.”
Not much of St. Valentine’s life is reliably known. However, it is agreed that St. Valentine was martyred. He was buried on the Via Flaminia to the north of Rome.
In 1969, the Roman Catholic Church removed St. Valentine from the General Roman Calendar. However, the church still recognizes him as a saint. Also, he is in the list in the February 14 spot of Roman Martyrolgy.
The legends attributed to the mysterious saint are inconsistent.
Valentine verifies Christianity
One common story about St. Valentine is that in one point of his life, he was on house arrest with Judge Asterius. While discussing religion and faith with the Judge, Valentine pledged the validity of Jesus. The judge immediately put Valentine and his faith to the test.
St. Valentine was presented with the judge’s blind daughter. He was told to restore her sight. If he succeeded, the judge vowed to do anything for Valentine. Placing his hands onto her eyes, Valentine restored the child’s vision.
Judge Asterius was humbled and obeyed Valentine’s requests. Asterius broke all the idols around his house. He fasted for three days and became baptized. Also, his family and entire 44 member household were baptised. The now faithful judge then freed all of his Christian inmates.
St. Valentine was later arrested again for continuing to try to convert people to Christianity. He was sent to Rome under the emperor Claudius II. St. Valentine was a Roman priest martyred during Claudius’ reign.
The story tells that St. Valentine was imprisoned for marrying Christian couples. Also, he aided Christians being persecuted by Claudius in Rome. Both acts were considered serious crimes. A relationship between the saint and emperor began to grow. That was until Valentine attempted to convince Claudius of Christianity. Claudius became raged and sentenced Valentine to death. He commanded him to renounce his faith or be beaten with clubs and beheaded.
Valentine is martyred
St. Valentine refused to renounce his faith and Christianity. He was executed outside the Flaminian Gate on February 14, 269. He secretly married couples so husbands wouldn’t have to go to war. Another variation of the legend of St. Valentine says he refused to sacrifice to pagan gods. While imprisoned he healed the jailer’s blind daughter. On the day of his execution, he left the girl a note signed, “Your Valentine.”
Pope Julius I is said to have built a church near Ponte Mole in his memory. For a long time it gave name to the gate now called Porta del Popolo.
The romantic nature of Valentine’s Day may have derived during the Middle Ages. It was believed that birds paired couples in mid-February. Also, English 18th-century antiquarians, say Valentine’s Day was created to overpower the pagan holiday, Lupercalia.
The exact origin of the holiday is not widely agreed upon. However, it is widely recognized as a day for love, devotion and romance.
Whoever he was, Valentine did really exist. Archaeologists have unearthed a Roman catacomb dedicated to St Valentine. In 496 AD Pope Gelasius marked February 14th as a celebration in honour of his martyrdom.
Tradition of oils
The tradition of anointing with sacred oil is very old indeed. It is used in sacraments and also as a devotional practice. The sick person applies the oil and blesses themselves. As they do so, they are asked to pray to whomever the oil is dedicated to. The Irish blessings oils do not have miraculous power. It is God who has the power to heal. Applying the oil while praying are important ways for us to express our faith in God’s power. Moreover, by doing so we place our trust in God.