Inquiring minds: Who was Saint Valentine? Is he the patron saint of florists?

Each week the staff at the Roseville Library answers more than 2,500 questions on every subject under the sun. Here are some of the most interesting ones they’ve gotten lately.

Q.  Who was Saint Valentine? Is he the patron saint of florists?

A.  You might well expect that of a saint whose feast day has brought such prosperity to the florist industry over the years, but, in fact, Saint Valentine is not the patron saint of florists—or of chocolate candy makers either. In fact, the legend of St. Valentine—the man whose name is associated all those frilly pink-and-red greeting cards—is so shrouded in mystery that the Roman Catholic Church no longer includes his name in the official calendar of saints. Did St. Valentine, on the eve of his martyrdom, really pen a note to his beloved and sign it “From your Valentine?”  No one really knows, but it makes a nice story.
The patron saint of florists, by the way, is variously named as either Saint Dorothy or Saint Theresa of Lisieux.
(Internet resources and Butler’s Lives of the Saints.)

Do you have a question for the staff at the Roseville Library? You can call them at 628-6803 or ask your question in person at the Information Desk, Roseville Library, 2180 Hamline Ave. Library hours are 10 a.m. to 9 p.m. Monday through Thursday; 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. on Friday and Saturday; and 1 to 5 p.m. on Sunday.

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