Venice and St. Valentine: a love connection!
Near Palazzo Grassi, facing the Grand Canal, two steps far away from where Casanova was born you can find a church dedicated to the prophet Samuel which is devoted to Saint Samuel here, to remember the cult of prophets deriving from the byzantine culture. If you look inside on your left, you can find an altar with some relics related to Saint Valentine, who lived between the II and the III centuries in Umbria, in the city of Terni. There they claim they own the entire body of this famous saint, even if his tomb is supposed to be in Rovereto, in the church dedicated to the Virgin Mary of Loreto.
In the city of love, our Venice, even Saint Valentine loves perfumed roses as well as Saint Mark is celebrated by giving to your beloved girl a red rose bud on April 25th. The story has innumerable variations. I like remembering the story of Maria who was in love with a soldier and he never came back home to her, he died and sent her back a red rose bud with his own blood. She died on St. Mark’s day in love despair.
What is more beautiful than offering a perfumed flower to couples in love? Somebody says that St. Valentine did so, he was the god of fertility. Even two welcoming pigeons flying around two persons in love who are having a quarrel simbolize this saint, so the expression little doves in Italian indicates two happy lovers.
This festivity existed even in Italy in pagan times and it was called Lupercalia in the ancient Rome. It took place on February 15th in honour of Pan, the God of fertility and purification in the fields. It was suppressed by August and prohibited by the Pope Gelasio in 494. Then it was typically celebrated by the Christians and celebrated on February 14th by people in love.
Let’s go together and bring a rose to St. Valentine? Venice, the city of love, embraces you and wants you to feel good.