Wednesday, February 12, 2003

St. Valentine's Head Found

From zoomata - Italians Find St. Valentine Relic:

The silver relic, in the shape of the saint's face, contains fragments of his skull. Stolen in 1979, it was recently recovered in an art sting by police in Bari. The relic has a special significance since Valentine, the first bishop of the Umbrian town of Terni, was decapitated after celebrating marriages between pagans and Christians.

The return of the head, however, is unlikely to solve centuries-old bickering between several European countries over relics of the patron saint of lovers. To further complicate matters, there were at least three martyred saints called Valentine. The first was a Roman priest martyred under the Emperor Claudius II in 269 or 270 AD, the second was a Bishop of Terni killed about three years later and little is known of the third who died in Africa. Rumors abound about whether the remains were given or had simply been trafficked out of Rome by enterprising monks and nuns.

With Valentine's day only a few days away--a timely story. Isn't it odd that no one makes a fuss about the celebration of St. Valentine's day in this country? St. Valentine is the patron of greetings and lovers.