St Valentine sent letters of encouragement to people--not chocolates!

Valentine is the name of two saints, one a bishop and one a priest, who were martyred in the middle of the third century and honored on Feb. 14. 

Shrine of St. Valentine in Whitefriar Street Carmelite Church in Dublin, Ireland

According to the life of one of them, he sent letters of encouragement to people. 

The Bollandists, Jesuit scholars who have studied the calendar of saints for centuries, are of the opinion that in fact there is only one St. Valentine who ended up being celebrated in two different cities.

The more likely association between lovers and St. Valentine is the medieval belief that birds would choose their partner on his day. Chaucer explores this conceit in his poem, “The Parliament of Fowls.” From that reference until now, St. Valentine’s Day has been associated with the idea that it is a good thing for two people in love to affirm that to each other — and to tell the world too!
Although the idea that Valentine’s Day is for lovers is based on medieval conceptions of animal behavior and a chance mention in a poem, the actual focus on telling others that they are loved is something that emerges from a scriptural truth: God is love. 


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