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Saint Valentine the Martyr of Courtly Love


Let us remind ourselves the actual historical event that has become tainted over time with candy hearts and mushy love poems...the real man was martyred for love his head cut off by his Roman executioner.The real person who cared for the sick, the poor, and the unwed, was born in Terni, Italy. Saint Valentine would become the patron saint of: Bee Keepers, Epileptics, Plagues, The Faint, Betrother, or Happy Couples centuries after his death. Numerous people with the name Valentine existed, but fewer who have been traced during the 3rd Century, who just happened to be a priest or a bishop by the name of Valentinus.

Father Valentine defied Roman law by performing Christian weddings at a time when it was forbidden to perform marriages, and he was arrested and condemned. Emperor Claudius II prefered his soldiers to be unattached, remaining unmarried. Made to suffer for his defiance of Rome, he was clubbed and executed by beheading on February 14th, 269 AD. He was initially buried in a cemetery by the Milvian bridge (Ponte Molle) on the Tiber River, just north of Rome on an ancient roadway leading tot he mountains. Although there are other saints with the same name, they did not die on February 14th, ironically however, there is a Saint Valentina the Virgin, who was martyred July 25th, 308 AD in Caesarea, Palestine. (Source: Wikipedia)

IMAGE SOURCE: The Beheading of Saint Valentine, from Vincentius Bellovacensis

If you are having trouble thinking of what to watch on Valentine's Eve, and are tired of re-watching Wuthering Heights, A Tale of Two Cities, Romeo & Juliet, and Three Colors trilogy: Blue (1993), White (1994), and Red (1994) directed by Krzysztof Kieślowski. Perhaps you have already seen Love Object (2003), May (2002), Wicker Park (2004), Martyrs, What Dreams May Come (1998), Burning Man (2011), The Birds, Marnie, Vertigo, Psycho, Sunset Boulevard (1950), and True Romance - and are looking for something completely unexpected, or perhaps different? Of course, there are unconventional love stories you could watch like Harold & Maude (1971), Twinky aka Lola (1970) with Charles Bronson in the romantic lead - The Bride (1985), Bride of Frankenstein (1935), The Ghost & Mrs. Muir, Ghost, Truly Madly Deeply (1990), or even the oddball I Love You Alice B. Tolkas! (1968).

Take heart, fellow sinister spinsters, and don't suffer alone. Invite your friends over for Martyrs of Love party, which will include cinnamon hearts, caramel corn, copius amounts of crimson red wine and goey pizza. In most of these films there are no happy endings either, not really a downer because they are wholly satisfying in their utter carnage, tragedy, bleakness, or vengeance.


Top 13 Anti-Valentine's Day Movies:

Valentine (2001) directed by Jamie Blanks stars David Boreanaz and Marley Shelton

My Bloody Valentine (1981/2009) the original is directed by George Mihalka, the remake by Patrick Lussier

Morbid: A Love Story (2009) directed by Edward Payson, stars Liam J. Smith and Anna Pelestis

Hospital Massacre aka X-Ray (1981) directed by Boaz Davidson, stars Barbi Benton and Charles Luc

Lovers Lane (1999) directed by Jon Ward, stars Dierdre Kilgore and Carter Roy

Revanche (2008) and Austrian thriller directed by Götz Spielmann, stars Johannes Krisch Irina Potapenko. An ill-fated love story between an ex-con and a prostitute

Mad Love (1935) directed by Karl Freund, stars Peter Lorre and Frances Drake

Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind (2004) directed by Michel Gondry, stars Kim Carrey and Kate Winslet

Antichrist (2009) directed by Lars von Tried, stars Willem Dafoe and Charlotte Gainsbourg

Possession (1981) directed by Andrzej Zulawski, stars Sam Neill and Isabel Adjani

Sunset Boulevard (1950) directed by Billy Wilder, stars Gloria Swanson and William Holden

The Rain People (1969) directed by Francis Ford Coppola, stars Shirley Knight and James Caan

Erosion (2005) directed by Ann Lu, stars Emmanuel Xuereb and Charis Michelsen

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