The name goes back to Roman times. Valentine was supposedly a priest of the new Christian faith, and since the Emperor’s edict forbade the marriage of Christians, he went ahead and married them anyway, breaking Roman Law. They executed him for that, and so becoming a martyr paved his way to sainthood. The romantic English took to that, and commemorated his memorial day (they were Catholic once) by making his feast the day of lovers.

I and some of the people I know still refer to it as Saint Valentine’s Day, and my brother Rudy, whose middle name is Valentine, has a name day, as the Latins call it. Here’s to my youngest brother, whose star-crossed love life has really had some happy results, named Philip, Sondra and Andrea. I love them all.

Loretta, my wife, got a dozen roses today for the first time in her life, on February 14. Thank you, St. Valentine, through the same Jesus Christ you worshiped. And hey, through a simple guy like me.

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