Thursday, 4 February 2016
Bees, Epilepsy, Icing on the Cake
Reputably, Valentinus was a Roman temple priest beheaded c 270 AD on the orders of Emperor Claudius II, for performing marriages for Christian couples. According to legend, during his imprisonment before his execution, 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.
There are other versions, and a number of other namesakes and even a Pope who share the moniker. So much confusion is attached to ascribable events, in fact, that in 1969 the Catholic Church decided to forego continuing liturgical veneration, although he was given the nod to continue with otherwise saintly recognition.
February 14 is taken as his death day, though it's unclear how the differences between the Gregorian and Julian calendars can be reconciled for the date, with the implementation of the former occurring some 1300 years after the event itself.
It's said that poet Geoffrey Chaucer was the first to promote Valentine's Day as celebrated today, noting it a time for courting couples to come together. In recent times, a girl reported that she made a cake for her new boyfriend, with 'Happy VD' iced in bold letters across the top; she added that after seeing the cake he never had sex with her and broke up with her soon after.
Valentine is the patron saint of bees and epileptics. No one saw that coming.