Historically, little is known of him or who he truly might have been. His name might have been "Valens" - the latin for "something of worth" and one of many early bishops martyred in the 3rd or 4th Century by the vestiges of a failing Roman Empire.
"...the Catholic Church's official list of recognized saints, the Roman Martyrology lists seven: a martyr (Roman priest or Terni bishop?) buried on the Via Flaminia (February 14); a priest from Viterbo (November 3); a bishop from Raetia who died in about 450 (January 7); a fifth-century priest and hermit (July 4); a Spanish hermit who died in about 715 (October 25); Valentine Berrio Ochoa, martyred in 1861 (November 24); and Valentine Jaunzarás Gómez, martyred in 1936 (September 18)." -Wikipedia
The martyrdom of anyone for the sake of Christ's Church is not to be taken lightly. However, that is what has been done to the memory of Valentine. Our culture has turned the remembrance and celebration of an early church Father into a schmaltzy and vapid day to "celebrate" carnal love.
There are better icons which could be raised and venerated....objects of desire, with attributes considered physically beautiful. Norma Jean is probably the best known from the last century:
And yes, she is/was a delightfully sensous physical being and highly intelligent! There is no denying that fact. Sadly, she martyred herself to the Hollywood cause...a gentle and sensitive spirit ravaged by false dreams, and run to ground by the slavish, insatiable hounds of Media Hell.
So...to all my friends who visit and any others who might stumble onto this humble Blog....Here's wishing a blessed and truly love (agape, filial, eros and koinonia) filled St. Valentines Day!!!