Tuesday, February 06, 2007

14.02.2007 - Saint Valentine's Day

Saint Valentine, Terni's first Bishop, died in 273 by order of the Roman Prefect Placidus Furius during the persecutions ordered by the Emperor Aurelius.
Saint Valentine Tradition
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 due to the legend which originated in the anglo-saxon countries; he used to give a flower from his garden as a present to his young visitors. Two of these young people fell in love; and this love risulted in such a happy union that many other couples followed his example of giving a flower, and the Saint was induced to dedicate one day of the year to a general benediction of matrimony.
The present Basilica of Terni was built in 1605 on the ruins of precedent temples, and contains interesting works of art, in particular in the crypt, and St Valentine is the patron saint of the city.
Valentine's Day
Every 14th of February feasting in honour of the Saint takes place around the Basilica, with a traditional Fair and prize-displays. The entire month of February is dedicated to festivities in honor of St Valentine. Among the various events is "Terni - St. Valentine: A Year of Loving". This event, first held in 1989, awards a yearly prize in recognition of a special act of love. Past awards include those given to Mr. and Mrs. Green, to the memory of the Premier Rabbi of Israel, and to the Italian association "Telefono Azzurro", a gren help line for children in distress. Other events include an exhibition of jewellery, a competition for the loveliest jewel created for Saint Valentine's Day and other exhibitions.