Italy TravelSt. Valentine’s Connection to Umbrian Town of Terni

St. Valentine’s Connection to Umbrian Town of Terni
Published on Sunday, February 10, 2019 by

Most of the world celebrates Valentine’s Day on February 14, but it is not widely known that St. Valentine was born and later buried in the Umbrian town of Terni. February 14th is the anniversary of his death and it is a day to celebrate love and lovers.

According to one legend, St. Valentine, a bishop, got his reputation as the patron saint of lovers when he wed Sabin and Serapia against all obstacles that were presented against the young couple. Another story says that St. Valentine heard a young couple fighting and stepped in to help them reconcile. He gave them a rose, perhaps beginning the tradition of buying and giving roses on February 14th. Some stories say that St. Valentine used to give all young lovers who visited him a flower from his garden.

Every year on the Sunday before Valentine’s Day, fiancées can visit his remains in the Basilica of Terni and can share their promises of love to each other. Since he gained a reputation for bringing luck and long-lasting love to couples, during his lifetime St. Valentine dedicated much of his time to the benediction of marriages. On the anniversary of his death, couples may also be blessed in the basilica on their Silver and Gold wedding anniversaries- 25 and 50 years, respectively.

Paris may be most popularly considered the city of love, but Umbria most certainly merits the title of most romantic region. Perhaps the regions most famous export, Perugina chocolate “baci,” or “kisses,” come wrapped in starry wrappers lined with messages of love.

By Kathy McCabe

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