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Catholic Dictionary

Term

VALENTINE'S DAY, ST

Definition

Traditional lovers' day, going back to the pagan Lupercalia, in mid-February, and the medieval belief that birds began to mate at that time. Eventually this custom and belief became associated with the feast of ST. Valentine on February 14, which may refer to any one of three saints by the same name: a priest-physician martyred in Rome in 269; a bishop of Interamna, beheaded at Rome about 273; and a martyr in Africa who was put to death with several companions.