Saint Valentine

Patron of Abriola and Protector of lovers


Lived in the 3rd century, this saint, priest and martyr of Rome is commemorated in the Roman martyrology on 14th February with register “latercolo” which originated from Beda in the 7th century. In the legendary “Passio Mariae et Marthae” is recounted that Valentine was arrested at the order of Claude the Gothic, beheaded along Via Flaminia, and on his tomb, 2 miles away on the same street there were built a Basilica as desired by Pope Julius I and afterwards the Basilica was “adorned magnificiently” by Pope Theodore. The Feast of St. Valentine, priest of Rome appears to have been celebrated since the time of St. Gregory the Great, and it was noted both in the Capitulary of 7th century and in the Gregorian Sacramentary. The martyr was being invoked against plague and epilepsy. It seems that the title of “Protector of lovers” were attributed to him in the medieval because it was held that on 14th February, his feastday, birds start to build nests for brooding young ones stimulated by natural instinct of love to pair up. Also at Abriola, a small Lucan centre in the province of Potenza, for centuries St. Valentine, priest and martyr of Rome is venerated with the title of Patron of the town. In the mother church of this same town is preserved in a 6th Century wooden bust: a vase and three reliquiry containing the relics of the saint, all with pontifical authenticity. It is however difficult to explain how these relics arrived at Abriola. In anycase, it is a possibility that since Abriola in the past centuries was a stopping-place of the Herculean road, the mother church might have been a target for pilgrims who wish to make the place of worship very precious by embelishing it as was traditional in the middle ages. They inserted in an altar some relics of the saint-martyr. On the 11th of February 1998 a monumental bronze door was inaugrated by His Eminence Francis Cardinal Arinze, President of the Pontifical Council for inter-religious dialogue, at the entrance of the mother church dedicated to the Saint.
Statua lignea seicentesca custodita nella chiesa madre
raffigurante S. Valentino presbitero e martire


Nel mio cuore, Signore, si è acceso l'amore per una creatura che tu conosci e ami.
Fa' che io non sciupi questa ricchezza che tu mi hai messo nel cuore.
Insegnami che l'amore è un dono e non può mescolarsi con nessun egoismo, che l'amore è puro e non può stare con nessuna bassezza; che l'amore è fecondo e deve, fin da oggi, produrre un nuvo modo di vivere in me e in chi mi ha scelto.
Ti prego, Signore, per chi mi aspetta e mi pensa, per chi ha messo in me tutta la fiducia per il suo avvenire, per chi mi cammina accanto nei nostri passeggi, rendici degni l'uno dell'altra, aiuto e modello.
E per intercessione di San Valentino aiutaci a prepararci al matrimonio, alla sua grandezza, alle sue responsabilità, così che fin d'ora le nostre anime posseggano i nostri corpi e regnino nell'amore.

Versione italiana

La storia

Le leggende

I documenti

Il paese

La chiesa

La festa

Per contattarci...









Facciata principale della chiesa
madre di Abriola


Valentine sounds like valorem tenens, something “that maintains value”, that is, “that preserves sanctity”, or Valentine signifies valens tyro, “valiant soldier”, that is, “soldier of Christ”. It is said that a soldier is valiant when he never retreats, when taken by force he defends with vigore and wins with his power. In the same way Valentine did not withdraw before his matryrdom, he was caught while destroying idolatary, he difended his stand streghtening the faith and he won undergoing matryrdom.

(From the excellent legend of Jacobus from Varese).

This work is edited by Rocco De Stefano.
English translation by Sr. Mary Ita Ekwem, (I.H.M-Nigeria).
Photos by Francesco Carriero and Giuseppe Giannica.
Last Up-dated 01/01/2000.
Our address is:
Parrochia S. Valentino, Via Cesare Sarli, 13
85100 Abriola (PZ)
Invio e-mail