Sunday, February 14, 2010

Saint Valentine

Though his death is not as bizarre or macabre as some of the others I've done I thought it appropriate to include St Valentine on this , his feast day.

St Valentines was not one but many martyred saints. There are at least eight bodies and one head that have all been recognised as the remains of Valentine.

The Valentine I've depicted was a priest in Rome, first mentioned in the Nuremburg Chronicle.
he was arrested and imprisoned by Claudius II for preaching Christianity. The story goes that Claudius took a liking to the prisoner until valentine made the mistake of trying to convert him to Christianity. He was ordered to be beaten(or stoned) to death. When this failed he was finally beheaded.

Reading up on him there are many suggestions as to the origins of the traditions associated with him.

Some versions of the story claim that as he faced the gallows Valentine wrote a note to the daughter of his jailer signing it "From your Valentine".

It's been suggested that the association of Saint Valentine with lovers is as a Christian replacement for the pagan Lupercalia and a medieval belief that birds chose their mates on this day.

He is often depicted with roses and birds, as I have done.

I painted this rather quickly when I remembered that today is his feast day.

I might have missed it, but I couldn't find any reference to expensive chocolates or teddy bears in any of his origin stories.

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