The punished St. Valentine

Behind February 14, Valentine’s Day, lies the biography of a character who had a rather tragic and nothing “valentinian” ending.

St. Valentine would have been a priest from Rome who was beaten and beheaded in 270 A.D. His crime: secretly marrying soldiers with their partners in defiance of the rule of Emperor Claudius II, who believed that celibacy in the army increased the effectiveness of soldiers.

The saint who gives his name to Valentine’s Day ended his days in a rather tragic way. National Geographic

An appropriate plan for this day is to visit the church of San Antón in Madrid. What awaits us here? Nothing more and nothing less than the relics of the saint, given to King Charles IV by the Supreme Pontiff in the eighteenth century.

Presumably, the saint is commemorated on February 14 because of a medieval belief that birds began to mate on that day.

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