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A day to tell that special someone just how much you care for them; ADVERTISING FEATURE.

EXPERTS are divided as to the origin of Valentine's Day.

Some think it originated from St Valentine, a Roman who was martyred for refusing to give up Christianity. He died on February 14, 269 AD, the same day that had been devoted to love lotteries.

Folklore also suggests that St Valentine left a farewell note for the jailer's daughter, who had become his friend, and signed it "From Your Valentine".

Other aspects of the story say that Saint Valentine served as a priest at the temple during the reign of Emperor Claudius. Claudius then had Valentine jailed for defying him. In 496 AD. Pope Gelasius set aside February 14 to honour St Valentine.

The Legenda Aurea of Jacobus de Voragine, compiled about 1260 and one of the most-read books of the High Middle Ages, gives sufficient details of the saints for each day of the liturgical year to inspire a homily on each occasion.

The very brief vita of St Valentine has him refusing to deny Christ before the Emperor Claudius in the year 280. Before his head was cut off, this Valentine restored sight and hearing to the daughter of his jailer.

The flower-crowned skull of St Valentine is exhibited in the Basilica of Santa Maria in Cosmedin, Rome.

In 1836, some relics that were exhumed from the catacombs of Saint Hippolytus on the Via Tiburtina, then near Rome, were identified with St Valentine; placed in a casket, and transported to the Whitefriar Street Carmelite Church in Dublin, Ireland, to which they were donated by Pope Gregory XVI.

Many tourists visit the saintly remains on St Valentine's Day, when the casket is carried in solemn procession to the high altar for a special Mass dedicated to young people and all those in love. Alleged relics of St Valentine also lie at the reliquary of Roquemaure in France, in the Stephansdom in Vienna, in Balzan in Malta and also in Blessed John Duns Scotus' church in the Gorbals area of Glasgow, Scotland.

February 14 is also celebrated as St Valentine's Day in other Christian denominations; it has, for example, the rank of 'commemoration' in the calendar of the Church of England and other parts of the Anglican Communion.

February 14 has become the date for exchanging love messages and a celebration of St Valentine, the patron saint of lovers.

The date is marked by sending simple gifts to loved ones.
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Title Annotation:Features
Publication:Birmingham Mail (England)
Date:Feb 4, 2012
Words:400
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