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Celebrant stories

Why we have St Valentines day

Posted by Claire Oxenham on February 4, 2013 at 4:20 PM

Being a wedding celebrant in Tenerife, is as I have said before a fantastic job!!

But again I like to look into why we have the traditions we have, why we have certian days set aside for different Saints ( Tenerife is still a very Catholic country so we have many Saint days)

But here is an insight in to why we have St Valentines day.

This excerpt was taken from a fellow Celebrant in the Uk, and makes  a very interesting read.

Claudius II of Rome, needed to increase the size of his army for campaigns around Europe, but there was a lack of new recruits. Soldiers tired from years of battle, wanted to stay at home with their wives and families, returning to an honest life as farmers or merchants.

Outraged with the lack of new volunteers and support, he passed a law forbidding young men to marry, stating single men would have more focus as soldiers.


Valentine, a priest of Rome, encouraged the act of marriage and continued to perform wedding ceremonies in secret. He found candle lit rooms and performed blessings in woods and privacy became the lover’s sanctity.


He was captured shortly after performing a ceremony, and possibly gave himself up so the newlyweds could make good their escape.

Imprisoned and sentenced to death, many young couples began to visit him in his cell, leaving flowers & messages of thanks.

One young girl, the jailer’s daughter became his acquaintance, bringing him messages from the outside and then listened to his stories, preaching love and hope. It was believed that she was blind and her sight was restored though faith.

On the day of his execution, he asked for a pen and paper, leaving a note for his new friend, thanking her for her love, loyalty and support. He signed it “love from your Valentine”.



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