Valentinus, St

Valentinus, St.

the reputed apostle of Rhaetia and bishop of Passau, is first mentioned, in an authentic manner, by Pez, in the biography of the younger St. Severin, §:35, in Scriptores. Rer. Austritaca. 1, 88. A presbyter, Lucillus, is there made to relate that a Valentine who was his abbot and teacher had ministered as bishop of Rhaetia early in the 5th century, and had died on Jan. 6 of some unmentioned year. Lucillus was accustomed to observe that day in his honor. In one of the poems of Venantius Fortunatus (cir. 600) it is said that a number of churches of St. Valentinus were then planted along the Inn. One hundred years later Corbinian visited the grave of the saint, near the Castle of Mais, in the Tyrolese Alps; and soon afterwards (in. 730; see Aribo, in. Vita Corbin. 18, in Meichelbeck, Histor. Frisiny. I, 2, 12) the Bavarian duke Thassilo caused Valentinus's bones to be removed to Passau. The diocese and Church of Passau have since claimed the saint as their earliest incumbent and representative. The Acts of Saints from which the Bollandists give a description of this saint are not older than the 11th century; while a leaden tablet said to have been found with his relics when they were exhumed can scarcely date further back than the 12th century. See Acta SS. Bolland. ad. 7 Jan. 1, 368; Raderi Bavaria Sancta, 1 32; Rettberg, Kirchengesch. Deutschlands, 1, 220 sq.; comp. 2, 133.

Other Valentines, of Rome, Interamina, Africa, and Belgium, are mentioned in the Acta SS. under Feb. 13. See also under March 16, April 14 and 29, June 2, July 16, Sept. 29, etc. Herzog, Real-Encyklop. s.v. It is to one of these latter, doubtless, that the popular custom of St. Valentine's Day is to be assigned. SEE VALENTINE, ST.

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