Who was St. Valentine?

12 Feb

Rosaries are often given as gifts for various holidays and special occasions such as Christmas and birthdays.  They are given to wedding attendants, First Communion recipients, and winners of academic awards.  Many will receive rosaries as special gifts on Valentine’s Day.

St. Valentine, the patron saint of love, romance, and marriage, was a priest in Rome in the third century, a time in which Emperor Claudius II outlawed marriage for young men stating that single men made better soldiers.  Despite that decree, Valentine continued to perform marriages in secret.  When his defiance was discovered, he was martyred on February 14.  

In the fifth century, Pope Gelasius elevated Valentine to sainthood and declared February 14 to be St. Valentine’s Day.

In the eighteenth century, tokens of affection and handwritten notes were exchanged on St. Valentine’s Day.  By the 1900’s, printed cards, some elaborate and trimmed with lace, became popular. 

Here is a Valentine's Day rosary with heart shaped beads and heart shaped center medal.

If you have inherited a rosary and want to know more about its history, e-mail a photo and describe it, and I will try to give you its historical background and title.    My e-mail address is  rosarycollector@aol.com
My book, The Rosary Collector’s Guide, contains over 240 photographs of unique rosaries, crosses, crucifixes, and center medals.   The book helps rosary collectors, antique dealers, and historians identify unique religious artifacts.  The Rosary Collector’s Guide is available at Amazon.com.


We are often able to bring our extensive collection of rosaries, center medals, crosses, and crucifixes to show to church groups, school groups, and community organizations. To arrange a presentation, please contact Gloria Brady Hoffner and Helen Hoffner at rosarycollector@aol.com


2 Responses to “Who was St. Valentine?”

  1. Geralyn Arango February 12, 2012 at 9:25 PM #

    Wow, how old is that rosary? How did you acquire it?


    • rosarycollector February 12, 2012 at 11:13 PM #

      The Valentine rosary shown in the February 12, 2012 post is a new rosary made by the Oblates. The Oblates sell many new yet unique rosaries to raise funds for their missions.


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