Would you like to share your heart

Valentine's Day on February 14th "Do you want to give your heart to me ..."

Legend has it that he secretly married Roman legionnaires who were forbidden to marry. And he gave the lovers colorful bouquets of flowers. Isn't that great? A fighter for love? And we're minimizing that to the florists today. No matter how matter-of-factly and soberly you approach Valentine's Day, it speaks for itself that the custom of paying attention to one another has persisted to this day. It certainly varied over the centuries - but Valentine's Day was always about the lovers. Love is magnanimous and generous. So let's just let go of all petty prejudices and look forward to February 14th, open our hearts to the people who love us and hope a colorful bouquet of flowers with all our hearts.

Blessing service on Valentine's Day in Erfurt Cathedral

It is now a beautiful tradition for couples to be blessed in church services on Valentine's Day. This year, Auxiliary Bishop Reinhard Hauke ​​and Pastor Bianka Uebach-Larisch invite you to an ecumenical blessing service at 8 p.m. in Erfurt Cathedral on Valentine's Day. The celebration is aimed at people who want to think about love and partnership on this day. Due to the corona pandemic, registration at the cathedral information is required.

Tel. 0361-6461265, weekdays 10 a.m. to 12 p.m.

The auxiliary bishop and the pastor show which paths love can take in a pictorial meditation and an interpretation of the biblical song of songs of love. In addition, two married couples tell how they experienced their relationship and what has become important to them. At the end of the service there is the possibility to be blessed personally, of course in compliance with the given hygiene regulations.

Customs on Valentine's Day - here and in the world

Valentine's Day is not only celebrated in Germany. In England, people send anonymous love letters (Valentine Greetings) on Valentine's Day. In France and Belgium, and later also in America, there was the custom from the 14th century onwards to determine Valentine and Valentine in one lot, who then remained connected in a kind of engagement for a whole year.

In Italy, lovers meet on bridges, where the custom - now popular all over the world - is cultivated to attach love locks to railings as a sign of eternal bond. And in Japan women give men chocolate gifts.

In German-speaking countries, the custom of giving each other flowers revived after the Second World War under American influence. This ritual has ancient roots: In ancient Rome, on February 14th, the goddess Juno was commemorated, who was considered the protector of marriage and family. The women in the families were given flowers that day.

Old belief

In the Hanseatic cities, Valentine's Day used to have a completely different meaning: The guilds of seafarers, merchants and craftsmen as well as other brotherhoods met on February 14 for a mutual friendship meal. The 14th of February was also called "Vielliebchentag" in earlier times. He reminds you to prick the lovable salad (lamb's lettuce) in the fields. And another old belief about Valentine's Day: It used to be said that an unmarried girl would take as husband the boy she saw first on February 14th. Young men who had chosen a girl therefore presented him with a bouquet of flowers early this morning.

February 14th as a fateful and unlucky day

Because February 14th was considered a fateful and unlucky day in early Germany, they placed themselves under the special protection of St. Valentine, whose name means "healthy, safe, strong" in the Latin original meaning. The ancient Romans liked to say goodbye to a friend or to close a letter with the greeting: "Vale! Cura, ut valeas!" ("Stay healthy! Take care of your health!")

The holy bishop and martyr Valentine has been invoked on many different issues. He is the patron saint of beekeepers, but also of those in love and of the bride and groom, whom one wished the blessing and intercession of St. Valentine "for a good marriage"; also for eye ailments, epilepsy and other "falling" illnesses such as fainting.

Valentin, historically

As certain as "Valentine's Day" is on February 14th on the calendar of today's florists, experts in church history believe that the exact biography of Valentine's name is uncertain. In church history there are some well-known saints named Valentin: These are Pope Valentin (827), the priest and martyr Valentin of Viterbo (3rd / 4th century), Bishop Valentinus of Passau (around 475).

Today's church historians name Valentine of Terni on the liturgical feast day of February 14th. He was bishop in the city of the same name, north of Rome. Valentin was a presbyter in Rome, was executed under Emperor Claudius Goticus (268-270) for refusing to sacrifice a god and, according to different traditions, buried on the Via Flaminia near Terni (transfer of the bones to the cathedral of Terni 1605). At the 2nd milestone of the Via Flaminia north of Rome, Pope Julius I (337-352) built a basilica (quae appellatur Valentin) with the tomb of St. Bishop and martyr Valentin of Terni ("in sua ecclesia ... corpore jacet") to let. In Rome, Valentin was venerated as a saint very early on. His festival is demonstrably celebrated from 350.

Today there is no longer a memorial day for Valentine in the church calendars. The Second Vatican Council (1962-1965) had deleted all Valentines from the canon of saints in the course of the calendar reform because they were "unhistorical".