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St. Valentine
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Religious Figure
    ( -February 14, 270)
    Believed to have lived as a Christian priest in Rome during the reign of Emperor Claudius
    Beheaded by Roman authorities (February 14, 270 AD)
    Canonized by Pope Gelasius and given an official Catholic holiday (496-1969 AD)
    Nickname is the 'patron saint of lovers'
    Though many celebrate the day of his death, nobody really knows his story.
    He himself was dedicated to chastity and had no significant other.
    His holiday is the subject of a really crappy horror movie.
    For people who are ugly or unlovable, his holiday is fruitless and depressing.
    There are at least three stories which exist about why exactly he became a saint and the only real thing they all have in common is that it ends with Valentine being beheaded by Claudius.
    Some believe his holiday was the Catholic version of the Roman feast of Lupercalia, which preceded the celebration of the goddess of love, Juno, on February 14th.
    The original Roman version of the holiday involved a love lottery, in which young men drew names of young women and whoever they picked, they could have sex with her for a year.
    Pope Gelasius changed it to Valentines Day and the rules were that a young man would draw the name of a saint and were supposed to emulate the saint drawn for a year (What the hell?).
    Many scholars believe he never really existed at all.
    Although the Catholic Church retired his holiday from their official calender, people still celebrate it.
    He barely gets any recognition on the holiday which is named after him.
    Of the three stories, one tells the story of Valentine, the man who was beheaded by Emperor Claudius for refusing to give up Christianity, on the same day which was devoted to love lotteries. Another tale tells of Valentine, who, in defiance to Claudius' anti-marriage laws created to expand the military, marries couples anyway, resulting in his beheading. And finally, the third tale is of a man named Valentine who was arrested for being a Christian and fell in love with his jailers daughter, in which, he wrote a note professing his love to her, signing it 'your Valentine.'
    Despite Pope Gelasius' wishes, his holiday turned back into a holiday about love and lust.

Credit: Captain Howdy

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