This date is celebrated worldwide to mark the deeds of bishop Valentine in Terni City in Italy during the second half of the third century, who officiated the marriage of young couples in secret to help them avoid joining the Roman legions.
When the Roman Emperor Claudius II, known as Claudius Gothicus, was made aware of these hidden marriage celebrations, he commanded the decapitation of Bishop Valentine, allegedly, on 14 February 270 BC.
Specifically, helping Christians at the time was considered a crime. Nevertheless, when first imprisoned, Claudius took a liking to his prisoner -- until Valentinus tried to convert the Emperor -- whereupon the priest was condemned to death. Valentinus was beaten with clubs and stoned; when that did not kill him, he was beheaded outside the Flaminian Gate.
In 498 BC, Pope Gelasius canonized him due to his dedication to the faith and love.
Many of the current legends that characterize Saint Valentine were invented in the fourteenth century in England, notably by Geoffrey Chaucer and his circle, when the feast day of February 14 first became associated with romantic love. Some historians feel the holiday may have been created as an attempt to supersede the pagan holiday of Lupercalia.
But there is little that is romantic about some histories linked to this day, depending upon your own personal experiences, of course. For example, my grandmother, Nellie Gray, was the victim of a murder-suicide on Valentine's Day, 1940.
I have a section of The Copycat Effect about Valentine's Day, parts of which are quoted here.
It will be recalled that this is the one year anniversary of the NIU campus shootings.
A few hours before the air crash near Buffalo, NY, there was a decapitation there.
Orchard Park police are investigating a particularly gruesome killing, the beheading of a woman, after her husband — an influential member of the local Muslim community — reported her death to police Thursday.
Police identified the victim as Aasiya Z. Hassan, 37. Detectives have charged her husband, Muzzammil Hassan, 44, with second-degree murder.
"He came to the police station at 6:20 p.m. [Thursday] and told us that she was dead," Orchard Park Police Chief Andrew Benz said late this morning.
Muzzammil Hassan told police that his wife was at his business, Bridges TV, on Thorn Avenue in the village. Officers went to that location and discovered her body.
Muzzammil Hassan is the founder and chief executive officer of Bridges TV, which he launched in 2004, amid hopes that it would help portray Muslims in a more positive light.
The killing apparently occurred some time late Thursday afternoon. Detectives still are looking for the murder weapon.
"Obviously, this is the worst form of domestic violence possible," Erie County District Attorney Frank A. Sedita III said today.
Authorities say Aasiya Hassan recently had filed for divorce from her husband.
"She had an order of protection that had him out of the home as of Friday the 6th [of February]," Benz said.
Muzzammil Hassan was arraigned before Village Justice Deborah Chimes and sent to the Erie County Holding Center.
Thanks to Anon.