ST. VALENTINE, PRIEST AND MARTYR
His acts are commended by Henschenius, but
objected to by Tillemont, &c. Here is given only an abridgment of
the principal circumstances, from Tillem. t. 4, p. 678.
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 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
Valentini. The greatest 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 honor of their goddess Februata 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.