"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 February 14, about the year 270. Pope Julius 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 Valetini."
"The first representation of Saint Valentine appeared in a The Nuremberg Chronicle, a great illustrated book printed in 1493. [Additional evidence that Valentine was a real person: archaeologists have unearthed a Roman catacomb and an ancient church dedicated to Saint Valentine.] Alongside a woodcut portrait of him, text states that Valentinus was a Roman priest martyred during the reign of Claudius the Goth [Claudius II]. Since he was caught marrying Christian couples and aiding any Christians who were being persecuted under Emperor Claudius in Rome [when helping them was considered a crime], Valentinus was arrested and imprisoned."
He is the patron saint of love (which I am in), young people (I still consider myself young) and happy marriages (yes, I have one of those). It is fitting, then, that I celebrate this holiday to the fullest. Baking the cookies pictured above was wonderful. I stuffed the handmade card with three coupons for massages. Yes, my husband has already redeemed one of them. In fact, he is fast asleep on the bed as I type after his first massage. I am pleased he enjoyed his gift.
I am pleased to say that my husband knows me well. No chocolates (I can't eat much of that anyway) and no flowers (come on...we can grow tons of those in the appropriate season!) That is not to downplay those gifts, they are nice but I am just not that kind of girl. I love quirky, unexpected gifts. He bought me two wonderfully fragrant candles and a new, very fun, very sea foam green lamp with a beach-sand-toned shade for our living room. The candles are agave lily and tamarind lime. Again, he knows me well. I love herb and fruit based scents. They are magnificent.