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The Secret Life Of St. Valentine

Full disclosure: I am not a fan of Valentine’s Day. Part of it is sour grapes — I’ve been dumped on V-Day. Twice. Every year, I start looking for somewhere to point the finger, and I’m not necessarily talking about the index one. Who was this St. Valentine dude, and how did he inspire this holiday?

Unfortunately, not too much is known about him. No one knows what he looked like or even what his pre-saint name was. This is partly because back in the Roman days, a lot of Christians killed for their beliefs, and thus named saints, were dubbed St. Valentine. In fact, there were so many of them that in the official Roman Martyrology, there are three Saint Valentines listed as having died on Feb. 14.

There are lots of stories out there about who the St. Valentine was. The only things that seem to be consistent are that he was a priest in Rome during the reign of Emperor Cladius II and that he was killed in the year 270 A.D. After the jump, our favorite myths and theories as to the rest of the story. Keep reading »

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