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St. Valentine's in Ukraine

 It’s hard to believe but the tradition of celebrating of Saint Valentine’s Day is very young in Ukraine. This holiday started being celebrated only from the middle of nineties of the XX century. A bit commercialized but still a very joyful, this day became quite popular among Ukrainians. In Kharkiv, for example, several years ago there was even put a monument to a loving couple which has already become a popular place for meetings among young people.

For Ukrainians, as well as for other people celebrating St. Valentine’s throughout the world, this day is associated with the feeling of love. The main signs of the holiday are Valentine cards, flowers and small presents, mostly sweets. For this day Ukrainians also love to orginize different concerts and beauty contests.

According to Wikipedia, there were numerous early Christian martyrs named Valentines. Until 1969, the Catholic Church formally recognized eleven Valentine's Days. The Valentines honored on February 14 are Valentine of Rome and Valentine of Terni. Valentine of Rome was a priest in Rome who suffered martyrdom in about AD 269 and was buried on the Via Flaminia. Now his relics are at the Church of Saint Praxed in Rome and at Whitefriar Street Carmelite Church in Dublin, Ireland. Valentine of Terni became a bishop of Interamna (modern Terni) in about AD 197 and is said to have been killed during the persecution of EmperorAurelian. He is also buried on the Via Flaminia, but in a different location than Valentine of Rome. His relics are at the Basilica of Saint Valentine in Terni. The Catholic Encyclopedia also speaks of a third saint named Valentine who was mentioned in early martyrologies under the date of February 14. He was martyred in Africa with a number of companions, but nothing more is known about him. Initially there were no any romantic elements present in the original early medieval biographies of either of these martyrs. By the time a Saint Valentine became associated with romance in the fourteenth century, distinctions between Valentine of Rome and Valentine of Terni were utterly lost.


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