The real St. Valentine. A Maltese connection?

St. Valetine’s day celebrated on the 14th. February, is known as a feast of love and romance. However, this feast has it’s origins from the Christian and ancient Roman period. Although there is no direct connection, in ancient Rome, the feast of Luperculia was celebrated between February 13 and 15, as the feast of spring, whereby fertility was celebrated. However, St. Valentines was a martyr priest during the Roman period, who used to wed soldiers, who were not supposed to marry, as well as Christian prisoners who were undergoing prosecution.

St. Valentine was a defendant of love, although this brought up his execution by Emperor Claudius in 278AD. According to a legend, he restored sight to the daughter of the judge who prosecuted him and left a note for her signed “Your Valentine”. We do not have much of knowledge about the history of St. Valentine. What we know is that he was buried on Via Flaminia on February 14. His relics are also found in Malta in Balzan. In fact a road named “Triq San Valentinu” is found in this village, and the feast of St. Valentine is celebrated.

The reliquary are found within St Michael”s altar and was donated to the parish church of Balzan in 1820. St Valentine was then considered as the second important saint for the Balzan Parish. Consequently, many people residing in Balzan named their children Valent, Valentina or Valentino.

Would it be a good idea if couples pray for blessing infront of the relics of St Valentine? Perhaps a new tradition could set off.

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