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St Valentine's Day

Posted: Mon Feb 20, 2017 1:51 pm
by nest
A quiz came up at work recently with the question " Which English king decreed that St Valentine's Day would be celebrated on Feb 14th"
Was it Henry VIII, or, as some colleagues suggest, an earlier monarch. I would appreciate someone being able to provide evidence on way or another on this before civil war breaks out over the matter, there is a prize for the winner of the quiz you see and their are some very competitive sorts here on the Upper Ground floor!

TIA
nest

Re: St Valentine's Day

Posted: Mon Feb 20, 2017 4:54 pm
by Brother Ranulf
No English king needed to make any decree - various saints named Valentine were part of the Roman Church calendar long before Henry VIII or any of his ancestors. The Feast of Valentine (February 14) goes back to at least 496 AD when Pope Gelasius added Valentine of Terni to the list of Christian Saints; at least two other Valentines had their feast on the same day. This was a Christian festival and no royal decree was ever needed to enforce it in England.

People today are still commemorating that particular medieval feast day - but most people have no idea why.

Re: St Valentine's Day

Posted: Tue Feb 21, 2017 12:19 pm
by Brother Ranulf
By way of evidence, this is the relevant calendar entry from the Westminster Psalter of about 1200:

16 kalends March.JPG


It reads 18C, 16 days before the Kalends of March, [feast] of Valentine, martyr. This is the standard manuscript way of expressing 14 February.

Re: St Valentine's Day

Posted: Thu Mar 16, 2017 4:47 pm
by nest
Many thanks again Brother Ranulf and I apologise for the delay in saying thank you.

regards

nest