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Rev. Alban Butler (1711–73). Volume I: January. The Lives of the Saints. 1866.

February 14

St. Valentine, Priest and Martyr

        His acts are commended by Henschenius, but objected to by Tillemont, &c. Here is given only an abridgement of the principal circumstances, from Tillem. t. 4. p. 678.

Third Age.

VALENTINE was a holy priest in Rome, who, with St. Marius and his family, assisted the martyrs in the persecution under Claudius II. He was apprehended, and sent by the emperor to the prefect of Rome; who, on finding all his promises to make him renounce his faith ineffectual, commanded him to be beaten with clubs, and afterwards to be beheaded, which was executed on the 14th of February, about the year 270. Pope Julias I. is said to have built a church near Ponte Mole to his memory, which for a long time gave name to the gate, now called Porta del Popolo, formerly Porta Valentini. The greater part of his relics are now in the church of St. Praxedes. His name is celebrated as that of an illustrious martyr in the sacramentary of St. Gregory, the Roman missal of Thomasius, in the calendar of F. Fronto, and that of Allatius, in Bede, Usuard, Ado, Notker, and all other martyrologies on this day. To abolish the heathen’s lewd superstitious custom of boys drawing the names of Girls in honour of their goddess Februta Juno, on the 15th of this month, several zealous pastors substituted the names of saints in billets given on this day. See January 29, on St. Francis de Sales.