Europe February Martyrs Priests Saints

Saint Valentine

Feast Day: February 14

How To Make Ricotta Honey Cakes

Today we are feasting with… Saint Valentine.

This recipe is a take on the traditional Roman ” cheese cake” consisting of a dense, ricotta cake, sweetened with honey. The perfect treat to share with the ones you love most.

From Your Valentine

Surprisingly, not much information about Saint Valentine can be validated with certainty. However, there are several accounts that are generally accepted and have no doubt furthered his renown in modern times.

The most common narrative describes Valentine as a priest of Rome, or as former Bishop of Terni, in central Italy.  He was arrested and imprisoned upon being caught preforming weddings for Christian couples and otherwise aiding Christians who were at the time being persecuted by Claudius II in Rome. Helping Christians at this time was considered a crime.

While under house arrest by order of Judge Asterius, Valentine began discussing his faith with him. Valentine was proclaiming the validity of Jesus, so the judge put Valentine to the test, and brought his adopted blind daughter to be healed. If Valentine succeeded in restoring the girl’s sight, Asterius pledged to do whatever he asked. Valentine, praying to God, laid his hands on her eyes and the child’s vision was restored. Immediately humbled, the judge asked Valentine what he should do. Valentine replied that all of the idols around the judge’s house should be broken, and that the judge should fast for three days and then undergo the Christian sacrament of Baptism. The judge obeyed and, as a result of his fasting and prayer, freed all the Christian inmates under his authority. 

According to legend, an imprisoned Valentine actually sent the first “valentine” greeting himself, possibly to his jailor’s daughter—who visited him during his confinement. It is alleged that he wrote her a letter signed “From your Valentine,” an expression that is still in use today.

Unfortunately, Valentine was later arrested again for continuing to evangelize and was sent to the emperor Claudius II. Claudius took a liking to him… that is until Valentine tried to convince him to embrace Christianity, whereupon Claudius refused and condemned Valentine to death. He was beaten with clubs and stones; when that failed to kill him, he was beheaded outside the Flaminian Gate on February 14, 269.

Saint Valentine is the patron of bee keepers, engaged couples, epilepsy, fainting, greetings, happy marriages, love, lovers, plague, travelers, and young people.

Saint Valentine, pray for us.