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San Valentino--the Italian Origins of Valentines Day
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San Valentino--the Italian Origins of Valentines Day

San ValentinoValentine's Day is named after San Valentino, the patron saint of Terni, a town near our many artisans in Umbria. While Italy may be synonymous with romance to many of us, the figure of San Valentino traditionally represents not only a tribute to romantic love, but also to brotherly love, friendship and spiritual love--to all the deep bonds we share with those around us. The martyrdom of the saint fell on February 14, which was also the period of an ancient Roman fertility festival, the Lupercalia. The two dates became one and the pagan celebration was replaced by the christian and finally by the popular. One legend has it that he grew enamored of the blind daughter of one of his Roman captors and his blessings restored her sight. In his farewell note to her he signed himself “Your Valentine” and thus many centuries of love notes eventually bore the same salutation. Other stories tell us that he blessed the marriage of two young people whose happy-ever-after life induced many other young couples to come seek his blessing. Whatever the truths behind the saint and his miracles, we enjoy celebrating a day dedicated to love in all its forms.
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