Valentine, St

Valentine, St.

a Roman bishop (or presbyter), was beheaded in the reign of the emperor Claudius, A.D. 270, and was early canonized. He is said to have been a man of admirable qualities, and noted for his love and. charity. Feb. 14 is celebrated in his honor. The custom of choosing Valentines on that day is accounted for in various ways. By some it is said to shave arisen from the fact that birds select their mates at that season; by others, from a practice prevalent at the ancient Roman festival of the Lupercalia, during the month of February, of placing the names of young women in a box, from which they were drawn by young men as chance directed. A similar custom was followed throughout Europe on the eve of Feb. 14 until recently, the person chosen becoming Valentine to the one choosing for a year. See Chambers, Book of Days, 1, 255. SEE VALENTINUS, ST.

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