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The 14th of February we all know as Valentine’s day. However, what is there behind this annual celebration and what do we really celebrate on the 14th of February?

In order to understand the story behind this day, we need to go back in time around the III century A.C., during the Roman empire.

The history

Under the emperor Claudio II, Valentino da Terni was born. Valentino was a Christian at the age of 21 became a bishop. At that time Christianity was being persecuted throughout the Roman empire so those of Christian faith were being imprisoned and killed.

As Valentino was a Christian, he was arrested by the emperor Claudio II who forced him to abjure his Christianity. Valentino did not accept the emperor order and tried to convert the emperor to Christianity.

The braveness of Valentino changed Claudio’s mind and caused him to decide not to kill him but instead, to give him mercy and let him go. This kindness was not maintained by the successor of Claudio II, Aureliano, that arrested Valentine because of his faith.

Valentino was never discouraged, and he always kept his faith in Christianism and always tried to help his community in Terni. For this reason, he was loved by everyone.

That said, what relationship is there between Valentino and the celebration we have now-a-days?

The Legends

Like many old story and legends different versions of the same tail can come to rise. The story about how Valentine became the patron saint of love is no different.

One of these stories is connected to the wedding Valentine performed between a pagan man and a Christian woman. As Christianity was persecuted at that time, the result of this wedding celebration ended up in a tragedy. Valentine was arrested and killed because he performed an illegal wedding based on the rules in place during the period. Valentine died on the 14th of February 273 A.C and therefore the 14th became the day we celebrate Valentine’s day.

A second version of the story is still concentrated on a wedding but Valentino played a different role. A woman who did not have a wedding dowry spoke with Valentino and he decided to give her money so she could take to her future husband’s family and marry. This action made Valentino the patron of love for long after his death.

Whatever version you would like to believe, the 14th of February is still the day when Valentine, the patron of love, died and that is why we celebrate love on this day. Love that could be read in different ways but that in these days is interpreted as the feeling between two people.

Whether you celebrate Valentine’s day or not or even think of it as just a glorified candy heart advertisement, it’s nice to know that at the root of it all an act of true love started it all. 

Here at Cantina del Castello, we like to think that our Ripasso della Valpolicella with its deep red color or our Recioto di Soave Cortepittora could be a great sweet treat to share with the person you love while celebrating the day of love together!

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