xmlns:og='http://ogp.me/ns#' Kryssie Fortune: The Mystery of Saint Valentine?

Thursday, 9 February 2017

The Mystery of Saint Valentine?

Photograph by Dnalor 01 (Own work) [CC BY-SA 3.0 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/3.0)], via Wikimedia Commons

Think St Valentine’s all about hearts and flowers? Maybe he did something totally romantic and became the patron saint of lovers. Maybe the most important question is Who the heck was he?

One church in Rome, St Maria in the Cosmedin has St Valentine’s skull in a glass case. Again though, who skull is it?

Could he be the Roman, Valentinius? Valentinius' name is listed in Martyrologium Hieronymianum - a list of early Christian martyrs compiled by St Jerome. Sounds like I’m on the right track then. In 496 Pope Gelasius established the feast of St Valentine as 14th February, but added Valentine was among those “whose names are justly reverenced among men, but whose acts are known only to God.In other words, he didn’t have a clue about the man behind the name.

Apparently three men might have been the much-loved saint. One was a Roman priest, another the bishop of Interamna (modern Terni, Italy) both buried along the Via Flaminia outside Rome, at different distances from the city. The third was said to be a saint who suffered on the same day with a number of companions in the Roman province of Africa, for whom nothing else is known.

The first Christians reused pagan holidays. Saturnalia became Christmas. In February, pagans celebrated the feast of Lupercalia. It honored the she-wolf who reared Rome’s founders Romulus and Remus. Pope Gelasius is noted for doing away with the festival, but some believe he replaced it with St Valentine’s day. Romans celebrated by dressing as goats and wolves. Some carried strips of skin cut from sacrificial animals. Many believed women lashed by these strips would be more fertile than their compatriots.

There’s a clue. A fertility festival held on the same day as Valentine’s feats. Like always, it comes down to sex. Maybe that’s why Valentine’s day became a feast for lovers.

Mandy, in my book Desire, Deceit and the Doctor gets the best Valentine’s surprise, but I’m not saying what.
To find out you’ll have to read it.

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Twelve years ago, Mandy Devlin moved away from her friends and family--under threat. If she returned in the next ten years or told anyone who fathered her baby, her boyfriend’s great-aunt would bankrupt her family. She’s a single mom who dreams of her lost love and a good spanking. When she’s finally free to return to Westhorpe Ridge, the last person she expects to see is Adam--the man she loved and lost so long ago. 

Dr. Adam Montgomery doesn’t know he has a son. Thanks to his great-aunt’s will, he has nine months to find a bride or he loses Montgomery Hall and the fifteen million dollars she left him. Although he seduces Mandy on his first night home, he still believes she betrayed him twelve years ago. No way would he marry a woman like her. 

As Valentine’s Day looms, someone tries to kill Mandy. Is Adam trying to get rid of her? Or can Mandy trust him to protect them?
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