Unusually, Valentine’s Day in 2018 coincided with Ash Wednesday the first day of Lent.
Best answer might be Take your Pick! as Catholic Encylopaedia mentions three of them and when alive, none of them was associated with romance. Valentine of Rome was one who died A.D. 269, Valentine of Terni (below) was another while a third one died in Africa.
All are martyrs, hence their sainthood. Relics of them are buried in different locations in Rome, Dublin with the head of St Valentine (which one?) at New Minster, Winchester. The distinction between them has long been lost.
The romance associated with Valentine’s Day starts nearly one thousand years later, with the Father of English Literature Geoffrey Chaucer This has now evolved into one of the busiest days of the year for restaurants, theatres and gift shops. As Gordon Ramsay has said, if your restaurant isn’t fully booked on Valentine’s Day, you have a problem.
Other cultures have similar days but some Islamic countries (Malaysia, Iran, Pakistan and Saudi Arabia) ban the practice for its Christian connection. Ironic since while Valentine was made a saint in A.D. 496 his day was removed from the General Roman Calendar in 1969 – perhaps another example of life becoming more secular.
Best known verse from Gammer Gurton’s Garland is probably:
The rose is red, the violet’s blue,
The honey’s sweet, and so are you.
Thou art my love and I am thine;
I drew thee to my Valentine:
The lot was cast and then I drew,
And Fortune said it shou’d be you
By way of contrast, research throws up Vinegar Valentines where the feelings are the opposite of romantic.
Hope you didn’t receive or want to send one!