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The Saints of Scotland

As St Valentine’s Day approaches, Jackie Macadam reflects on the saintly people that have influenced Scotland.
Saint Andrew. iStock

THIS month, you may give or receive a Valentine’s card without giving much thought to the saint whose name the day bears.

In truth, he’s very hard to pin down, and there are several possible figures who might have gone on to become ‘St Valentine’. There is so little firm evidence to go on that truths, half truths and fantasy might well have become intertwined like the strands of a Celtic love knot.

His lack of background caused Valentine to be removed from the Roman Catholic Church’s General Roman Calendar that lists the saints and feast days associated with them even though the church still recognises him as a saint.

One story associated with Valentine is that he was a Roman priest who was imprisoned for marrying Christian couples and helping them, and was martyred during the reign of Claudius.

Another is that he would secretly marry couples so the husband didn’t have to go to war; yet another is that while he was imprisoned for refusing to sacrifice to the Roman Gods, he healed the blind daughter of his jailer – thus converting the household to Christianity.

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About Life and Work

In this month's issue: THE SAINTS OF SCOTLAND - The saintly people who shaped Scotland FAITH INTO ACTION - The outgoing chair of CHAS –a Church of Scotland elder A FRESH STATEMENT OF FAITH? - A need to review the role of the Westminster Confession of Faith and much much more...