According to legend, there are three different individuals, all martyrs with the name of Valentine. The first Valentine is a priest of Rome, the second is a Bishop of Interamma in Italy and the third is a martyr of the Roman province of Africa.
Though not much is known about the third martyr, the first two are believed to have suffered in the second half of the third century and buried on the Flaminian Way.
Saint Valentine: Holy Priest of Rome
The birth date of this Saint Valentine is not known. Under Claudius’ rule, Saint Valentine along with Saint Marius and his family helped the martyrs during the persecution. Since Rome was involved in a number of bloody and violent campaigns during that time, it was difficult to appoint the male population in joining his military leagues.
Claudius the Cruel canceled all marriages and engagements within the City of Rome, since the Romans found it difficult to leave their loved ones. However, ignoring the rules of Claudius, Saint Valentine and Saint Marius continued performing wedding rituals in secret.
When this was found out, Saint Valentine was taken into custody and send to the Prefect of Rome ordered the Saint to be stoned and beheaded. While in prison, it was learnt that Valentine fell in love with a young woman who would often visit him.
She was actually the blind daughter of the jailer Asterius. It is also believed that God helped Valentine restore the eyesight of the woman. The farewell message of Valentine to his love read "From Your Valentine." The Saint was executed on 14th February and his relics have been housed within the Church of Saint Praxed in Rome.
Saint Valentine: Bishop of Interamna
This Saint Valentine is said to have been imprisoned and beheaded by Placidus, Prefect of Interanma and his relics are kept in a basilica in Terni, a town in Italy which hails Saint Valentine as its Patron Saint.
He is believed to have dedicated his life to the Christian community of Terni, becoming the first Bishop of the town. He was martyred on February 14 along the Via Flaminia and swiftly buried in order to prevent rioting by the Christians.
However, three of his disciples managed to locate the body and transferred it to Terni, where the remains were kept within a sacred place. Every year on February 14, the town of Terni hosts fairs exhibitions, and cultural events which attract many tourists to the area.
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