THERE is a local legend that Saint Valentine was born in
Legend has it that a priest named Valentine secretly married soldiers with their loved ones.
Emperor Claudius II, who governed from 268 to 270AD met with the priest, hoping to befriend him, but Valentine attempted to convert the emperor who then ordered that he be captured and tortured.
A lieutenant to the Governor of Rome, Asterius, was given the job, and he challenged Valentine to make his blind daughter see again. When Valentine did this, Asterius was so grateful that he converted.
However, Claudius II was so angry he ordered that Valentine be killed and he spent his last days in prison, where Asterius’s daughter brought him food. It is possible that the two fell in love, and the martyr allegedly left a letter for the girl, signed ‘from your Valentine’.
He was killed on February 14 and his remains were taken to the Basilica de Terni, in
In 1965, when Almeria cathedral’s archives were being sorted, documents were found proving that a martyr named Valentine, which was taken from the Roman catacombs in the 18th century, and declared authentic by Rome in 1779, was given to the cathedral.
In 1782, when the archdeacon of
Although the remains disappeared during the war, it is believed they may have been buried in the gardens.
The other two who could be the ‘real’ Saint Valentine are a bishop of Interamna (modern
However, it is more than likely that the one in
Lovers in the province shouldn’t despair though, as it is said that those who drink from a small fountain at
By Jennifer Leighfield
Adaptation and translation by Jennifer M. Leighfield, from Alberto Cerezuela, Enigmas y Leyendas de Almeria, Ed. Circulo Rojo, 6th edition, May 2009. www.editorialcirculorojo.com