Maureen Renfro's Blog: Facts About Valentines Day And St Valentine

Thursday, February 13, 2014

Facts About Valentines Day And St Valentine

A man named Valentine was martyred on February 14 late in the third century A.D. As you celebrate this Valentine’s Day, find out little fact about the man for whom the day is named, as well as some other intriguing facts about history's most romantic holiday.

Facts About Saint Valentine

1. In all, there are about a dozen St. Valentines, plus a pope. The saint we celebrate on Valentine’s Day is known officially as St. Valentine of Rome in order to differentiate him from the dozen or so other Valentines on the list. Because “Valentinus”—from the Latin word for worthy, strong or powerful—was a popular moniker between the second and eighth centuries A.D., several martyrs over the centuries have carried this name. The official Roman Catholic roster of saints shows about a dozen who were named Valentine or some variation thereof. The most recently beatified Valentine is St. Valentine Berrio-Ochoa, a Spaniard of the Dominican order who traveled to Vietnam, where he served as bishop until his beheading in 1861. Pope John Paul II canonized Berrio-Ochoa in 1988. There was even a Pope Valentine, though little is known about him except that he served a mere 40 days around A.D. 827.

2. Valentine is the patron saint of beekeepers and epilepsy, among many other things. Saints are certainly expected to keep busy in the afterlife. Their holy duties include interceding in earthly affairs and entertaining petitions from living souls. In this respect, St. Valentine has wide-ranging spiritual responsibilities. People call on him to watch over the lives of lovers, of course, but also for interventions regarding beekeeping and epilepsy, as well as the plague, fainting and traveling. As you might expect, he’s also the patron saint of engaged couples and happy marriages.

3. A popular hagiographical account of Saint Valentine of Rome states that he was imprisoned for performing weddings for soldiers who were forbidden to marry and for ministering to Christians, who were persecuted under the Roman Empire. According to legend, during his imprisonment, he healed the daughter of his jailer, Asterius. An embellishment to this story states that before his execution. he wrote her a letter signed "Your Valentine" as a farewell

4. You can celebrate Valentine’s Day several times a year. Because of the abundance of St. Valentines on the Roman Catholic roster, you can choose to celebrate the saint multiple times each year. Besides February 14, you might decide to celebrate St. Valentine of Viterbo on November 3. Or maybe you want to get a jump on the traditional Valentine celebration by feting St. Valentine of Raetia on January 7. Women might choose to honor the only female St. Valentine (Valentina), a virgin martyred in Palestine on July 25, A.D. 308. The Eastern Orthodox Church officially celebrates St. Valentine twice, once as an elder of the church on July 6 and once as a martyr on July 30.

Facts About Valentines Day

1. There are 119 single men (i.e., never married, widowed or divorced) who are in their 20s for every 100 single women of the same ages. Corresponding numbers for the following race and ethnic groups are: Hispanics: 153 men per 100 women. Asians (single race): 132 men per 100 women (This ratio is not significantly different from that for Hispanics or non-Hispanic whites.) Non-Hispanic whites (single race): 120 men per 100 women. Blacks (single race): 92 men per 100 women (The numbers of black men and women in this age group are not significantly different from one another.

2. Valentine's Day is banned in Saudi Arabia. The nation has a religious police force that uphold the annual ban with support from the Commission for Promotion of Virtue and Prevention of Vice. Everything related to the holiday is prohibited - candy, flowers, gifts...even the color red! It's outlawed based on a fatwa, or Islamic legal ruling, against pagan holidays. They may have a good point. Even though the holiday often has the word "Saint" preceding it, most of the Valentine's day traditions are rooted in a pagan fertility celebration.

3. South Koreans mourn a loveless February and March by eating black noodles. South Koreans have a romance-related day for every 14th day of the month. For February 14th, the day recognized as Valentine’s Day in many countries around the world, women give chocolate to the men. In the same way, men give candy to women on March 14th, though not chocolate. Those that do not receive any candy drown their sorrows on April 14th, mourning being forever alone. This day is referred to as Black Day and singles go to eat black noodles at a restaurant. These noodles represent the woe of singleness.

4. Researchers recently turned brain scanners on people to find out the effects of love on brain. Their findings? The time it takes for a person to fall in love is about one-fifth of a second. They also found that 12 areas of the brain work together during the love process. They found that love's effect on your brain is a high similar to the rush people get from cocaine!