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WHO THE HELL WAS ST. VALENTINE. and why is he venerated in the USA, a predominantly Protestant country? According to encyclopedias, he was a fifth century martyr, of no great importance in Catholic countries and his 'Saint's Day" has importance of some sort in the Anglican and Lutheran communities as the patron of "courtly love", "epilepsy" and "beekeepers"! It's anybody's guess why the U.S., not known for dedicating holidays to even major saints, make such a fuss over this liturgical nobody! Could it be because florists and confectioners wanted to boost flower and candy sales in the middle of winter, far from other holidays? By the way, the same can be said of St. Patrick, the other recognized saint in America. Until recent years he was not even celebrated in Ireland, where he is supposed to have rid Ireland of snakes, although that is some cynic's idea of a joke because, according to some historians, Ireland never had snakes! I believe in Chicago, St Valentine is the patron saint of Thompson machine guns.

fishline79 7 Feb 11

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Yeah, completely artificial holidays which create an under-current of support for the idea of Saints. If they go marching in after Patrick's holiday then they also bump into each other a lot. I think V-D was created for women (who couldn't have accepted it fast enough).


The catholics have at times dumped saints. Valentine was removed from their calander, but not stripped of sainthood due to his popularity. All political in the church for certain saints - even Patrick was suggested for the cutting block but politics kept him. George, patron saint of England was dropped though.

I think George, after killing all of the "dragons" was no longer needed.

@fishline79 I think England being mostly non-Catholic helped George get axed; he is still a Saint in the Anglicans. St. Patrick stayed a saint and we all know what his snake shtick was.

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