Hidden treasures

St Valentine's remains in Venice

Historical Curiosities
SValentino

St Valentine's remains in Venice

Valentine's day is celebrated all around the world, but only a few know that the saint's remains are kept in the city of Venice, precisely in the church of St Samuel (next to Palazzo Grassi).

When you enter the church, not well known even to the residents of this city, and approach the first altar on the left, you will clearly see an urn with this writing: CORPUS SANCTI VALENTINI.

It is true that the city of Terni claims to hold the remains of this famous saint, but it is nice to keep an aura of mystery and indulge in the idea that some of the remains of St Valentine, the protector of those in love, are also kept in Venice, the city of lovers par excellence.

The day of the bishop and martyr Valentine goes back to the ancient Greek, Italics and Roman celebrations that used to be held on 15 February in honor of the god Pan. These celebrations were dedicated to the purification of fields and fecundity rituals. After becoming increasingly licentious, the Emperor August banned the celebrations and Pope Gelasio finally suppressed them in 494. The Church Christianized the originally pagan fertility ritual bringing it forward to the 14th of February and attributing to the Saint martyr the ability to protect couples and those in love wishing to get married and have children together.

This story gave rise to several legends. The most interesting ones depict the saint as being passionate for roses and scented flowers that he used to donate to couples to wish them a happy time together. If you fancy celebrating Valentine's day in a special way, bring a rose to the altar of St Valentine in the church of St Samuel in Venice (to find out about opening times of this church ask at the nearby church of St Stephen).

Venice is a city full of surprises and places with unexpected stories. If you want to discover more of them, we will organize for you a personalized itinerary through Venice with the editor of the section Hidden Treasures.

By Insidecom Editorial Staff

Latest posts

Venice: The Sacristy of the Church of St. Stephen's

sacrestia-santo-stefano
Unknown places & works

In one of the most beautiful and sunniest squares in Venice there stands the imposing Church of St. Stephen, erected at the behest of t...

View

Vicenza: The Bridge of the Alpini in Bassano del Grappa

Ponte-degli-Alpini-Bassano
Historical Curiosities

If you are passionate about bridges, you cannot miss out on a visit to the Bridge of the Alpini in Bassano del Grappa, in the Province ...

View

Venice: The boats of Venice’s Lagoon

barche-veneziane
Local Traditions

Those arriving in Venice for the first time often think that the famous gondolas are the only boats plying the city’s canals... In re...

View

Venice: The tomb of Doge Andrea Gritti in the church of San Francesco della Vigna

Andrea_Gritti-tomba
Big Names

For the few daring visitors who decide to head to the Castello district, away from the crowds swarming around Piazza San Marco and the ...

View

Top posts

Verona: The Sigurtà Park in Valeggio sul Mincio

sigurtà
Unknown places & works

Sigurtà Garden Park is a 60 hectare-large natural park located in Valeggio sul Mincio, in the province of Verona, about 8 km from Pesc...

View

Venice: The graffiti of the ancient merchants on Fondaco dei Tedeschi in Venice

Fondaco_dei_Tedeschi
Historical Curiosities

Each building located along the Grand Canal has an amusing story or a mystery to tell... After having been the Post Office building for...

View

Padua: Padua, the Iliad, the Aeneid and Dante's Inferno

padova-antenore
Mysteries & Legends

What do the Italian city of Padua and Dante's Inferno have in common? Apparently nothing, but if you dig in the medieval legends you wi...

View

Venice: The Scuola Grande di San Rocco in Venice as the film set of 'Casanova'

Sala_Capitolo
Film Locations

In 2005 the film ‘Casanova' was shot in Venice, directed by Lasse Hallström and which starred the late Heath Ledger. Among the many ...

View