St Valentine’s Day is February 14. But who was St Valentine? Well, he was bishop of Terni, or Interamna. His (fictional) “Life” or “Passio” is now online in English. This has the Bibliotheca Hagiographica Latina (BHL) number 8460. The work probably dates from the 6th century AD. It’s fairly short, and it has – sadly – nothing to do with romance. The romantic connection with St Valentine’s Day goes back no further than Chaucer.
I’ve also included the Latin text and a short introduction. As usual, the material is placed in the public domain – use it as you like.
Here it is:
- Valentine of Terni – Passio – 2019 (PDF)
- Valentine of Terni – Passio – 2019 (Word .docx)
I’ve also placed the files at Archive.org here.
There is another Life of a saint Valentine on 14th Feb – a “St Valentine of Rome”, who was a priest. He might be the same chap, actually. The Life is not so well attested, or widely known. I might look at translating this next.
Update (15/07/2019): Via this site I learn that an Italian translation does exist of BHL 8460: E. d’Angelo, Terni Medievale: La Città, la Chiesa, i Santi, l’Agiografia, Spoleto (2015), p.243-7. But this I have not seen. I have updated the files and re-uploaded them.
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