was a holy priest in Rome, who, with St. Marius and his family,
assisted the martyrs in the persecution under Claudius II. He was apprehended,
and sent by the emperor to the prefect of Rome, who, on finding all his promises
to make him renounce his faith in effectual, commended him to be beaten with
clubs, and afterwards, to be beheaded, which was executed on February 14.
About the year 270. Pope Julius I is said to have built a church near
Ponte Mole to his memory, which for a long time gave name to the gate now
called Porta del Popolo, formerly, Porta Valetini.
The greatest part of his relics are now in the church of St.
His name is celebrated as that of an illustrious martyr in the sacramentary
of St. Gregory, the Roman Missal of Thomasius, in the calendar of
F. Fronto and that of Allatius, in Bede, Usuard, Ado, Notker and all other
martyrologies on this day. To abolish the heathens lewd superstitious custom
of boys drawing the names of girls, in honor of their goddess Februata Juno,
on the fifteenth of this month, several zealous pastors substituted the names
of saints in billets given on this day.
The 14th was also a designated a feast day (until 1969, when it was
from the Roman Catholic calendar) to honor two Christian saints
(at least one named Saint Valentine) martyred by the Roman Emperor
Claudius II Gothicus. There is a little bit of love stuff in this part,
though -- the reason Saint Valentine was killed (beheaded, actually)
was that he continued to marry young couples even though Claudius
forbade it. Apparently Claudius thought that married soldiers weren't
as good as single soldiers.
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