On St. Valentine

Do not lose your head

There is love all around you

Minds, eyes, hearts open

.

n.b. The story of this Christian martyr, beheaded it is thought, on 14th February, 269 CE involves belief that he restored sight to the daughter of either Judge Asterious, or the daughter of his gaoler.

Valentine had made a name for himself by presiding over marriages of Christian couples.

The relic industry of the Middle Ages did rather well out of him. Dublin being one location for his relics.

“Love is blind” is a phrase that many will know. I do not think it comes from the story of this bishop’s life, but it is a nice link to remind us that Christians were seen as radical extremists ready to die for their faith.

The Christians’ zealous attachment to monotheism was very disconcerting to the Roman Empire, who had a relaxed attitude to religion and did not see that a Jewish breakaway sect going around telling everyone to love thy neighbour and ditch the idols was conducive to their view of a stable society. They liked being in charge and running their empire with military might, exploiting their dominions for the enrichment of Rome, callous to the fate of the people in the regions.

Bishop Valentine was buried originally on the Via Flamina, before getting shifted around Rome after the conversion of the Roman Emperor Constantine c.312 CE.

“The Girl on the Via Flamina” by Alfred Hayes is a love story worth reading.

Happy Valentine’s Day.

CLP 14/02/2019

Published by

Christopher Perry

Liberté, Equalité, Humanité