Newspaper article The Journal (Newcastle, England)

Letter: Valentine Is a Shadowy Figure but Love Is Real; VOICE OF THE NORTH

Newspaper article The Journal (Newcastle, England)

Letter: Valentine Is a Shadowy Figure but Love Is Real; VOICE OF THE NORTH

Article excerpt

Byline: GEORGE McCABE

ROSES are red, violets are blue, the words of the next verse are up to you. This is probably the simplest and most commonly used Valentine verse around.

Tomorrow, February 14, is St Valentine's Day.

It's a day of expressing love, sometimes openly and sometimes covertly, sometimes seriously, most times in pleasurable fun.

The funny thing is that the church no longer recognises St Valentine, patron saint of friends and lovers. St Cyril and St Methodius have replaced him.

Valentine is a shadowy character from Roman history and at least two individuals can be put forward as the saviour of the greetings card industry between Christmas and Easter.

Candidate one was a church official in Rome who was martyred on this day and buried near the Flaminian Gate, formerly called the Gate of St Valentine.

Candidate two, a liberal churchman in Rome, was secretly marrying couples in love, much to the annoyance of a Roman official. …

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