In the first such gathering at the heart of the Catholic Church, victims of clerical sex abuse from around the world gathered Sunday night outside the Vatican to demand justice. But police blocked them from bringing their protest under the windows of Pope Benedict XVI.
Close to 100 sex abuse victims carrying torches were outnumbered by paramilitary police who cordoned off the main avenue leading to the Vatican. Only two protesters were allowed to approach Vatican soil and deposit sealed letters addressed to the pope from abuse victims.
At a rally staged just 500 yards from the Vatican, Gary Bergeron — co-founder of the group Survivors Voice — addressed the crowd.
"What we once had as children we can never get back," he said. "We stand here today to serve as reminders to the world that what was once taken from us should never be taken from another child again."
Bergeron also said the group called on the United Nations "to define and include the systemic sexual abuse of children under article 7 of its charter definitions of crimes against humanity."
Victims of clerical sex abuse end protest with symbolic Vatican march
by Paddy Agnew,
November 1, 2010
The Irish Times
THE FIRST multinational protest by clerical sex abuse victims in the Vatican ended with a symbolic candlelit march last night.
Carrying large candles, two survivors, Gary Bergeron and Paula Leerschool, walked the entire length of the Via Della Conciliazione, into St Peter’s Square and right up to the bronze door entrance to the Apostolic Palace.
“Part of what survivors asked was that we deliver letters from them, from all around the world, to the pope and that was our attempt to do that,” said Mr Bergeron.
“They wouldn’t let us go up to the bronze door but . . . somebody in security asked us for our passports.
“They took the letters from us but whether or not the pope receives them is up to the [security] men we handed them to,” said Mr Bergeron, one of the co-founders of Survivors’ Voice, the group which organised yesterday’s “Reformation Day” protest.
“Pope Benedict must bear his share of the responsibility for the mishandling of the clerical sex abuse issue.”
“Rome is where we point the finger.”
By Paddy Agnew, October 30, 2010 - The Irish Times
Benedict XVI & Bishops Child Sexual Abuse COVER-UPS
Victims March on Vatican Demand
United Nations Recognize Sexual Abuse Of Children As
A Crime Against Humanity.
Gay Teen Suicide & Gay Marriage
Benedict XVI and the Hierarchy
CHILD SEXUAL ABUSE & ABUSE LGBT CHILDREN
HUMAN LIFE, MORAL CONSCIENCE & AUTHORITATIVE TEACHING
Child Protection Service of the
Archdiocese of Dublin
Gay Marriage Obsession of Benedict XVI
Neglected Safety of Children &
Cover-ups Wrongly Blaming Gays
“What the Pope Knew”
September 25, 2010,
CNN & CNN International
Read more/related links:
Priest says he was pressurised into taking blame for pope
– by PADDY AGNEW, DEREK SCALLY and PATSY McGARRY
– The Irish Times – read more
Priest says he was bullied into taking fall for Pope in abuse scandal
- The Local – 4/18/10
Germany’s News In English – read more
Ratzinger & Vatican
“They did as much as they had at each point in time given the public outcry, and no more.”
Katrin Bennhold – 4/27/10
The New York Times – read more
“…the church must … end its campaign to block the weak and the vulnerable from receiving help to deal with the consequences of criminal sexual abuse.”
By Lawrence Lessig – 4/26/10
The New York Times – read more
Hurricane Katrina - Nancy Pelosi - Washington, DC – 2005
Benedict XVI Child Sexual Abuse
Who Can Mock This Church?
By Nicholas D. Kristof
May 1, 2010
The New York Times
Catholic Church sex abuse documents made public
By Gillian Flaccus,
Associated Press, October 25, 2010 - Salon
10,000 pages of litigation-related paperwork reveal the Diocese of San Diego's disturbing history
Nearly 10,000 pages of previously sealed Catholic church documents have been made public and showed that the Diocese of San Diego long knew about abusive priests, some of whom were shuffled from parish to parish despite credible complaints against them.
After a three-year legal battle over the diocese's internal records, a retired San Diego Superior Court judge ruled late Friday that they could be made public. Attorneys for 144 people claiming sex abuse made the papers public Sunday.
The records are from the personnel files of 48 priests who were either credibly accused or convicted of sexual abuse or were named in a civil lawsuit. They include a decades-old case in which a priest under police investigation was allowed to leave the U.S. after the diocese intervened…
Ripping Open An Incredible Scandal
(TIME, April 30, 1973) -- The denials, the evasions, the secretiveness, and, yes, the lies, all had failed. The Watergate case was breaking wide open. A 10-month campaign by some of the highest past and present officials of the Nixon Administration to cover up their involvement was crumbling. Read more - CNN TIME Photo Nixon
GAY TEENAGE SUICIDE
Roman Catholic - hierarchy child sexual abuse “cover-ups”
ordered by Benedict XVI
to avoid public outrage & criminal charges
falsely accused gay priests - WATERGATE?
December 17, 2009 -
by Fr. Marty Kurylowicz
The following statements are harsh statements, but unfortunately they are heavily documented. (1) Benedict XVI and his hierarchy failed to protect children from child sexual abuse for decades. (2) They mistreated and intimidated the victims and their families who came to report the child sexual abuse, in order to cover up publicity of any child sexual abuse. (3) They failed to protect children by repeatedly reassigning the child sexual abusers to assignments where children would be present. (4) When the hierarchy’s criminal negligence failing to protect children became public, globally, in 2002 they shifted the blame wrongfully onto gay priests. Photo
Read complete report:
Child Protection Service of the Archdiocese of Dublin http://www.justice.ie/en/JELR/Pages/PB09000504
(5) By falsely, against known research to the contrary, blaming gay priests they implicated the entire LGBT community and how they are fighting against Marriage Equality. When the scientific facts known for decades about human sexuality have been discounted with no substantiated facts given to explain why, it causes many questions whether Benedict XVI and the hierarchy’s fight against Marriage Equality is more a fight to maintained the cover-up of the hierarchy’s criminal negligence failing to protect children? Benedict XVI and his hierarchy need to clearly offer substantiated reasons why they are against Marriage Equality. This statement needs to be spelled out in great detail and follow Pope John Paul II’s test of truth of not separating science and religion. Photo Nixon
(6) Benedict XVI and the hierarchy’s continuous public propaganda against homosexuality encourages public intolerance towards LGBTQ&I adults and children. They continue to do this even though this summer 2 major Christian denominations approved LGBT singled and partnered people for all forms of ordained ministries. (7) Benedict XVI and the hierarchy’s continuous promulgation of the Vatican’s unsubstantiated antigay teachings that are harmful to children in their early childhood psychological developmental years, harm that is crippling throughout their lives. They have continued this even after the beginning of the year, 2009, the Family Acceptance Project research studies had shown the negative effects caused to youths, when their sexual orientation is not accepted, having health problems, suicidal ideation, etc. They ignore all the major medical, psychiatric, psychological and social workers national and international professional associations regarding their findings regarding human sexuality and sexual orientation. WHEN DO WE START PROTECTING CHILDREN?!?!
Written by Fr. Marty Kurylowicz
Benedict XVI & Hierarchy - ABUSE LGBT CHILDREN
“Most religious denominations continue to
condemn homosexuality as sinful
provide a rationale for marginalizing LGB people.”
Suicide Prevention Resource Center (SPRC)
Suicide Risk and Prevention for Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, and Transgender Youth
Although the social environment itself has not been defined as a risk factor for suicide, widespread discrimination against LGBT people, heterosexist attitudes, and gender bias can lead to risk factors such as isolation, family rejection, and lack of access to care providers. Risk factors may interact in unhealthy ways—for example, internalized homophobia or victimization may lead to stress, which is associated with depression and substance abuse, which can contribute to suicide risk. This risk may be compounded by a lack of protective factors that normally provide resilience, such as strong family connections, peer support, and access to effective health and mental health providers. Photo GWB
In the United States prejudice and discrimination against LGB people are widespread among individuals, and in fact, supported by many religious, social, and government institutions. Homophobia and heterosexism are terms that refer to prejudice against LGB people and reflect prevalent social attitudes that most people have internalized (McDaniel et al., 2001).
Morrow (2004) points out that “GLBT adolescents must cope with developing a sexual minority identity in the midst of negative comments, jokes, and often the threat of violence because of their sexual orientation and/or transgender identity” (p. 91-92) and that, given the pervasive homophobia in our culture and in the families of LGBT youth, “the internalization of homophobic and heterosexist messages begins very early—often before GLBT youth fully realize their sexual orientation and gender identity” (p. 92). Morrow also says that positive role models for LGBT youth are hard to find.
Herek and colleagues (2007) describe a framework to understand the social environment for sexual minorities. The framework integrates the sociological idea of stigma with the psychological idea of prejudice. Through stigma, society discredits and invalidates homosexuality relative to heterosexuality. Institutions embodying stigma results in heterosexism, and heterosexual individuals internalizing stigma results in prejudice. The United States legal system has faced challenges by sexual minorities and sympathetic heterosexuals that have led to significant changes. However, the legal system continues to reinforce stigma through discriminatory laws and the absence of laws protecting sexual minorities from discrimination in employment, housing, and services. A minority of states had antidiscrimination laws as of 2005, and most of these only referred to employment and not to housing or services. Most religious denominations continue to condemn homosexuality as sinful and provide a rationale for marginalizing LGB people. Photo
Researchers suggest that this social environment puts stresses on LGBT people that elevate the risk of substance abuse, depression, anxiety, and other emotional problems. One study (with participants in their mid-twenties) found that internalized homophobia was correlated with depression, although not directly correlated with suicide (Igartua et al., 2003). Mays and Cochran (2001) found growing evidence that experiences of discrimination can result in mental health and general health disorders. Analyzing data from the National Survey of Midlife Development in the United States (MIDUS), they compared LGB and heterosexual people’s mental health and experiences with discrimination. The MIDUS asked about the frequency of lifetime and day-to-day experiences of perceived discrimination including being denied a scholarship, being denied a bank loan, receiving poorer services at stores, and being called names. Mays and Cochran found that homosexual and bisexual individuals reported more frequently than heterosexual individuals both day-to-day and lifetime discrimination, and 42 percent attributed the discrimination at least in part to their sexual orientation. LGB individuals were twice as likely as heterosexuals to have experienced discrimination in a lifetime event and were five times more likely to indicate that discrimination had interfered with having a full and productive life. Perceived discrimination had a relatively robust association with mental disorders.
Meyer (2003) describes a social environment that is hostile and stressful for LGB people. His review of research demonstrates that social stressors are significantly associated with mental disorders and supports a model of minority stress that theorizes the higher prevalence of mood, anxiety, and substance use disorders among LGB people as “caused by excess in social stressors related to stigma and prejudice” (p. 691). Another study relates minority stressors to suicidal behavior: a study of gay men (with an average age of 38) found that three stressors—internalized homophobia, stigma (related to expectations of rejection and discrimination), and experiences of discrimination—were significantly associated with five outcomes indicating psychological distress, including suicidal ideation and behavior (Meyer, 1995).
Other studies find that internalized homophobia and conflict about sexual orientation appear to contribute to suicide risk among LGB youth. One study reported that LGB youth are at higher risk of suicide if they report high levels of internal conflict about their sexual orientation (Savin-Williams, 1990). Another study of gay men (with a median age in the twenties) found that internalized homophobia was associated with depression and anxiety, which increased suicide risk (Igartua, Gill, & Montoro, 2003). A third study indicated that positive role models and high self-esteem are protective factors against suicide in young gay men (Fenaughty & Harre, 2003).
Suicide Risk and Prevention for Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, and Transgender Youth - Suicide Prevention Resource Center (SPRC)
Bullying in Schools: Harassment Puts Gay Youth at Risk -
Mental Health America
Prepared by the
Suicide Prevention Resource Center
for the Center for Mental Health Services
Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration
U.S. Department of Health and Human Services
Supported by Grant No. 1 U79 SM57392-02
The Suicide Prevention Resource Center (SPRC) provides prevention support, training, and resources to assist organizations and individuals to develop suicide prevention programs, interventions and policies, and to advance the National Strategy for Suicide Prevention.
Suicide Prevention Resource Center
Education Development Center, Inc.
55 Chapel Street
Newton MA 02458
Holy Office of the Inquisition
Biblical quotes used to Condemn Galileo
Ecclesiastes 1:5 (New International Version)
5 The sun rises and the sun sets, and hurries back to where it rises.
Ecclesiastes 1:5 (New American Standard Bible)
5 Also, the sun rises and the sun sets; And hastening to its place it rises there again.
1 Chronicles 16:30 (New International Version)
30 Tremble before him, all the earth! The world is firmly established; it cannot be moved.
1 Chronicles 16:30 (New American Standard Bible)
30 Tremble before Him, all the earth; Indeed, the world is firmly established, it will not be moved.
Psalm 93:1 (New International Version)
1 The LORD reigns, he is robed in majesty; the LORD is robed in majesty and is armed with strength. The world is firmly established; it cannot be moved.
Psalm 93:1 (New American Standard Bible)
1 The LORD reigns, He is clothed with majesty; The LORD has clothed and girded Himself with strength; Indeed, the world is firmly established, it will not be moved.
Psalm 96:10 (New International Version)
10 Say among the nations, "The LORD reigns." The world is firmly established, it cannot be moved; he will judge the peoples with equity.
Psalm 96:10 (New American Standard Bible)
10 Say among the nations, "The LORD reigns; Indeed, the world is firmly established, it will not be moved; He will judge the peoples with equity."
Psalm 104:5 (New International Version)
5 He set the earth on its foundations; it can never be moved.
Psalm 104:5 (New American Standard Bible)
5 He established the earth upon its foundations, So that it will not totter forever and ever.
there will exist
well considered and
fervent public conviction
that the most deadly
is the mutilation
a child’s spirit.”
…whoever causes one of these little ones who believe in Me to stumble, it would be better for him to have a heavy millstone hung around his neck, and to be drowned in the depth of the sea. Photo
Protect children and the entire world will be safe.
Important note: No disrespect meant to Pope Benedict XVI or the hierarchy, the one and only concern is the safety and well-being of children.
Kids Are Being Hurt!!!
for gay priests
should be child abusers
By: Iver Bogen,
University of Minnesota Duluth - Duluth News Tribune
Pope Benedict XVI in August 2005 ordered an investigation of America’s 229 Catholic seminaries in order to eliminate gay seminarians. The week of Sept. 27, Vatican investigators began the “witch-hunt” at the Aquinas Institute of Theology in St. Louis. The question posed to the students: “Are you, or have you ever been, a homosexual?”
The investigation was reminiscent of the house arrest of Galileo in his home near Florence from 1633 until his death in 1642 for espousing the Copernican heliocentric view of the universe. The church does not suffer “heretical” thinking well and is extremely slow in altering its doctrines to be consistent with scientific progress as well as changes in cultural mores regarding acceptable human behaviors… photo
… It is my belief the Catholic Church’s focus on gay priests is merely a strategy for affixing blame and is consistent with its historical antipathy toward homosexuality and same-sex behaviors. However, research in the area of child sexual abuse suggests that pedophilic intrusions occur preponderantly with heterosexual males rather than gay men. It is not one’s orientation that is predictive of pedophilia. According to Dr. Nathaniel McConaghy, “The man who offends against prepubertal or immediately postpubertal boys is typically not sexually interested in older men or women.”
Being immature psycho-sexually, these men find themselves responding sexually to other males who also are immature. One’s orientation is not predictive of pedophilia. Read complete article - By: Iver Bogen, University of Minnesota Duluth - Duluth News Tribune
New Vatican Rule Said to Bar Gays as New Priests
September 22, 2005,
The New York Times
ROME, Sept. 21 - Homosexuals, even those who are celibate, will be barred from becoming Roman Catholic priests, a church official said Wednesday, under stricter rules soon to be released on one of the most sensitive issues facing the church. Photo
The official, said the question was not "if it will be published, but when," referring to the new ruling about homosexuality in Catholic seminaries, a topic that has stirred much recent rumor and worry in the church. The official, who has authoritative knowledge of the new rules, spoke on the condition of anonymity because of the church's policy of not commenting on unpublished reports.
"Impending rules on gay priests create Catholic divide"
by Charles Honey
October 8, 2005
The Grand Rapids Press
When the Rev. Martin Kurylowicz came out to his Sparta parish eight years ago, he said he had struggled for years with his homosexuality.
The Catholic priest says the struggle would be made harder for many others if the Vatican issues new rules that reportedly would ban gays from becoming priests…
…"I sizzled when I read it," said Kurylowicz, 55. "It's very hurtful, is what it is. In this day and age, there's no reason for it. It sends a message that there's something wrong with gays." Photo
Kurylowicz said he spoke out then to raise awareness of violence against gays and teach others homosexuality is not a choice but an inborn trait. Church leaders still don't understand that and contribute to gays' poor self-esteem, he said…
…"Kids as young as 4 or 5 know they're different," said Kurylowicz, a psychotherapist… "They grow up with this pervasive guilt, which sabotages their growth and motivation." The result is thousands of dollars in therapy to accept their natural orientation, he said, adding, "Does the Vatican want to take that on, like the tobacco industry had to take on for the damage it caused consumers? "… Photo
Read complete article: by Charles Honey - Religion Editor - The Grand Rapids Press – Archives
President of the United States
United States Congress
United States Supreme Court
50 United States Governors
Dear -- --------,
My name is Fr. Marty Kurylowicz, a Roman Catholic priest from the Diocese of Grand Rapids Michigan ordained June 16, 1979.
In March 1997, after attending a National Symposium of the New Ways Ministry that was held in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, I learned that children as young as 4 and 5 years of age know that they are different. This feeling "different" is only identified in their adult years as being gay. However, the harmful influence of antigay social and religious norms -- in particular, for Catholics, the Vatican’s unsubstantiated antigay teachings -- are severe and last throughout a child’s lifetime. The harmful effects are not isolated only to these children who grow up to be gay, but also affect their families, siblings, friends and anyone whom they might consider special in their lives. They are a prescribed societal sentence of implicit isolation, which place at risk of suicide so many innocent adolescents and young adults. They stifle an enormous amount of human potential in the world that otherwise could be put to use for finding cures for diseases, offering better ways of maintaining peace among people and improving the quality of life for everyone in the world.
Gay Marriage - “SEPARATION BETWEEN CHURCH AND STATE” Does Not Give Churches Or Benedict XVI - The Freedom To Abuse Children or Adults. July 2010 - By Fr. Marty Kurylowicz http://fathermartykurylowicz.blogspot.com/2010/09/gay-marriage-separation-between-church.html
Gay Marriage & Galileo:
Pope described as …"so averse to anything intellectual that everyone has to play dense and ignorant to gain his favor"
The Trial of Galileo - by Douglas O. Linder (2002)
UNIVERSITY OF MISSOURI-KANSAS CITY (UMKC) SCHOOL OF LAW
Threats, Silence, Harm and Disposal of Catholic Personnel Supportive of LGBT Adults and Children - Ratzinger/Benedict XVI’s Directives To Hierarchy
By Fr. Marty Kurylowicz
Facts About Homosexuality and Child Molestation
Dr. Gregory Herek,
University of California at Davis &
Yale University &
City University of New York
Report: Homosexuality No Factor in Abusive Priests
by RACHEL ZOLL
ABC News – 2009
New Catholic Sex Abuse Findings:
Gay Priests Are Not the Problem
by DAVID GIBSON
Politics Daily - November 18, 2009
NO EVIDENCE SUPPORTS THESE [homosexual] STEREOTYPES
Judge Vaughn Walker Ruling
California Prop 8. August 4, 2010
Hate Crime Bill vs Attacks
No Facts -> Fear And Ignorance
Of The Blind Leading The Blind
October 27, 2009 –
Fr. Marty Kurylowicz
…So, now we have some priests, ministers and even pontiffs saying that the bible states that homosexuality is evil, in exactly the same way that they condemned Galileo because he said that the earth revolves around the sun. Their freedom of speech psychologically harms for life children who grow up gay, it evens creates a hostile social environment that physically threatens the very lives of these children. And should one of these gay children be singled out and beaten to death, the person who killed the child will be charged with a hate crime, not the preacher, priest or pontiff. Their judgment will be made by God, likely more severe than anything on earth could possibly be, because of their negligence in their duty to protect children.
The bible in fact does not condemn Galileo or homosexuality, which science reveals that are normal elements of nature and human sexuality.
People for whatever reason seem to be using the bible to hide from their own personal sexual issues. This is a sacrilege! It is a total disrespect for the bible to be used to hide and harm innocent people, most especially children. These people do not check out the facts about the bible and science on homosexuality, because in truth they do not want to know the truth. Even in discourse with people who believe that homosexuality is evil because they say the bible states it to be, as with Galileo, they are not interested in a discussion, they do not want to hear the truth. They only want to discredit the truth, in every conceivable way, by whatever means available to them. Photo Nienstedt
They are likely doing what they have been doing all their lives regarding their personal fears about the truth of their sexuality. There is nothing to be gain to be in discourse with such people. In fact, they should be avoided, because they are harmful. Because no matter what they say or how violently they say it, it will not cause the sun to revolve around the earth or for homosexuality to be evil. Photo NASA
- Internalized Homophobia –
Devastating, and Horrific Consequences On Innocent Children
HATRED & VIOLENCE
…When we speak of internalized homophobia, we refer to the shame, denigration and anger turned inward onto the self of the homosexual individual either as a re-internalization or from the absorption of homophobic attitudes in the environment and then identifying with the hated and feared object. The primary emotion is shame, but a whole gamut of inhibitions, loss of self esteem, depression and self-destructive behavior often follow… Photo
[Unsubstantiated] --- RELIGIOUS BELIEFS that gay and lesbian relationships are SINFUL or INFERIOR to heterosexual relationships
HARM gays and lesbians.
Judge Vaughn Walker Ruling
California Prop 8. August 4, 2010
On Prop 8, it's the evidence, stupid
By Lisa Bloom
and related links:
California Prop 8, Aug, 4, 2010
"We the People"
means - US Constitution – DANGERS of majority rule - a reflection of prejudice, intolerance, ignorance, panic and crude self-interest…
by Geoffrey R. Stone - Chicago Tribune
…The framers of our Constitution fully recognized the dangers as well as the strengths of majority rule. They understood that THE MAJORITY will sometimes act in ways that are not truly public-regarding, but are instead a reflection of prejudice, intolerance, ignorance, panic and crude self-interest. A profound puzzle the framers encountered was how to deal with this danger…
An Overview of Scientific Studies
by Gregory M. Herek
Public Broadcasting Service (PBS)
…It frequently is assumed that feelings of personal threat result in strong negative attitudes toward homosexuality, whereas lack of threat leads to neutral or positive attitudes. This perspective often is associated with the term homophobia, and it derives from a psychodynamic view that prejudiced attitudes serve to reduce tension aroused by unconscious conflicts.
- Internalized Homophobia -
“Auschwitz – Benedict XVI - Christmas 2008 -A flashback far more severe than in Brokeback Mountain”
GAY TEENAGE SUICIDE - Fr. Marty Kurylowicz Photo
Nothing in life is more precious than the intimate relationships we have with love ones. Healthy love relationships delight us give us confidence to take on challenges and support us in difficult times. Photo
Gay marriage -> Restoring
To Children In Early Childhood -> Marriage Equality
March 23, 2010 – by Fr. Marty Kurylowicz
Marriage Equality, like Galileo, is the truth about the facts of growing up gay. Marriage Equality will not become a reality until people learn that its most vital purpose is that it restores the “hope of love” to children in early childhood – essential to their development and well-being for life. Without Marriage Equality we teach children how to hate love and how to be mean and indifferent to people as adults. With all due respect, without Marriage Equality we would teach them in much the same way as has been shown by Benedict XVI and the hierarchy, especially in their lack of care and protection of children for decades.
400,000 Anti-gay marriage DVDs - $1 million Nienstedt
“Minnesota Bishops on Gay Marriage” October 29, 2010
RELIGION & ETHICS NEWSWEEKLY PBS – video
December 1, 2009
Throughout history, human beings have been foretelling the end of the world, but nothing out of the ordinary has so far come to pass. So what makes the date December 21, 2012 any different? Controversy continues to build around that date fueled by the one thing that all other similar occurrences appear to have in common, fear, a necessary component in mass hysteria. According to the American Heritage Medical Dictionary, mass hysteria is defined as “a socially contagious frenzy of irrational behavior in a group of people as a reaction to an event.”
The operative word is “irrational” as proven by previous events in history such as the unrivaled hysteria that claimed innocent lives at the hands of supposedly educated men during the Salem Witch hunts. There was also the too-realistic radio broadcast of an adaptation of H.G. Well’s “War of the Worlds” where listening audiences actually believed that their country was being attacked by aliens, and more recently, the Y2K scare that had the entire world waiting breathlessly for the computer crash that never came. Photo
The history of Valentine's Day
and its patron saint — is shrouded in mystery. But we do know that February has long been a month of romance. St. Valentine's Day, as we know it today, contains vestiges of both Christian and ancient Roman tradition. So, who was Saint Valentine and how did he become associated with this ancient rite? Today, the Catholic Church recognizes at least three different saints named Valentine or Valentinus, all of whom were martyred.
One legend contends that Valentine was a priest who served during the third century in Rome. When Emperor Claudius II decided that single men made better soldiers than those with wives and families, he outlawed marriage for young men — his crop of potential soldiers. Valentine, realizing the injustice of the decree, defied Claudius and continued to perform marriages for young lovers in secret. When Valentine's actions were discovered, Claudius ordered that he be put to death.