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Romance

Definition of Romance

A romance is a relationship between two people who are in love with each other. Romance refers to the actions and feelings of people who are in love, especially behaviour which is very caring or affectionate.


Valentines Day -

The history of Valentine’s Day–and the story of its patron saint–is shrouded in mystery. We do know that February has long been celebrated as a month of romance, and that St. Valentine’s Day, as we know it today, contains vestiges of both Christian and ancient Roman tradition.

The St. Valentine who inspired the holiday may have been two different men. Officially recognized by the Roman Catholic Church, St. Valentine is known to be a real person who died around A.D. 270. However, his true identity was questioned as early as A.D. 496 by Pope Gelasius I, who referred to the martyr and his acts as “being known only to God.” One account from the 1400s describes Valentine as a temple priest who was beheaded near Rome by the emperor Claudius II for helping Christian couples wed. A different account claims Valentine was the Bishop of Terni, also martyred by Claudius II on the outskirts of Rome. Because of the similarities of these accounts, it’s thought they may refer to the same person. Enough confusion surrounds the true identity of St. Valentine that the Catholic Church discontinued liturgical veneration of him in 1969, though his name remains on its list of officially recognized saints.

In all, there are about a dozen St. Valentines, plus a pope. The saint we celebrate on Valentine’s Day is known officially as St. Valentine of Rome in order to differentiate him from the dozen or so other Valentines on the list. Because “Valentinus”—from the Latin word for worthy, strong or powerful—was a popular moniker between the second and eighth centuries A.D., several martyrs over the centuries have carried this name. The official Roman Catholic roster of saints shows about a dozen who were named Valentine or some variation thereof. The most recently beatified Valentine is St. Valentine Berrio-Ochoa, a Spaniard of the Dominican order who travelled to Vietnam, where he served as bishop until his beheading in 1861. Pope John Paul II canonised Berrio-Ochoa in 1988. There was even a Pope Valentine, though little is known about him except that he served a mere 40 days around A.D. 827.


Valentine is the patron saint of beekeepers and epilepsy, among many other things. People call on him to watch over the lives of lovers, of course, but also for interventions regarding beekeeping and epilepsy, as well as the plague, fainting and travelling. As you might expect, he’s also the patron saint of engaged couples and happy marriages.


Pagan Festival

While some believe that Valentine’s Day is celebrated in the middle of February to commemorate the anniversary of Valentine’s death or burial–which probably occurred around A.D. 270–others claim that the Christian church may have decided to place St. Valentine’s feast day in the middle of February in an effort to “Christianize” the pagan celebration of Lupercalia. Celebrated at the ides of February, or February 15, Lupercalia was a fertility festival dedicated to Faunus, the Roman god of agriculture, as well as to the Roman founders Romulus and Remus.