Saturday, February 14, 2009
Poor St. Valentine
Let's join the cynical horde and remind ourselves that today is a Saint's Day--of sorts--not officially recognized by the Catholic Church, but a Saint's Day nonetheless--and that according to story, St. Valentine was horribly martyred--
First, for your enjoyment, a link to The Onion's take on the "holy day."
When I went to do my "research" (and by this I don't mean a thorough academic source-searching, but rather a lazy click on Wiki) on this hapless fellow, I discovered that there's a bit of mystery and confusion surrounding him, but I liked one version best:
"The first representation of Saint Valentine appeared in the Nuremberg Chronicle, (1493); alongside the woodcut portrait of Valentine the text states that he was a Roman priest martyred during the reign of Claudius II, known as Claudius Gothicus. He was arrested and imprisoned upon being caught marrying Christian couples and otherwise aiding Christians who were at the time being persecuted by Claudius in Rome. Helping Christians at this time was considered a crime. Claudius took a liking to this prisoner -- until Valentinus tried to convert the Emperor -- whereupon this priest was condemned to death. He was beaten with clubs and stoned; when that didn't finish him, he was beheaded outside the Flaminian Gate."
Are you catching the key words here? "Martyrdom"? "clubbed, stoned, and beheaded"?
Now that's my kind of Valentine's Day. But then again, I'm the girl who loves Krampus.