Monday, January 16, 2006

Saint Valentine’s Day Tradition

Every 14th of February celebrations in honour of the Saint take place around the Basilica of Terni, Umbria, central Italy, with the traditional Fair. The entire month of February is dedicated to festivities in honour of St Valentine, Terni's first Bishop, who died in 273 by order of the Roman prefect Placidus Furius during the persecutions executed by the emperor Aurelius.
His life, given to the apostolate and enobled by his matyrdom, induced the citizens of Terni in 1644 to proclaim him the Patron Saint of the City and patron saint of lovers. But the fame of Saint Valentine all over the world is the legend which originated in the anglo-saxon countries. He gave a flower from his own garden to his young visitors. Two of these young people fell in love; and this love resulted in such a happy union that many other couples followed their example, and the Saint dedicated one day of the year to the benediction of love. The present Basilica of Terni was built in 1605 on the ruins of previous temples, and contains works of art of great interest, particularly in the crypt.

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