Celebrated by a large part of the world’s population, Saint Valentine’s Day dates back to 496 AC when Pope Gelasio I declared that this day be dedicated to fertility. His goal was probably to Christianize the Lupercalia festival, an ancient tradition observed on February 15th.
Saint Valentine was born in Terni, a city in central Italy, in 175 AC and made a bishop in 197 AC, dedicating his life to evangelization and the protection of the Christian community in his city, where there was much religious persecution.
Patron of Terni, Saint Valentine was known as the protector of couples in love thanks to the legend surrounding his name. The most famous story suggests that a young Roman centurion named Sabino was in love with a young and beautiful woman named Serapia.
Sabino wanted to marry Serapia and asked her parents for their blessing.
They would not allow for such a thing because Sabino was pagan and they were Christian.
Out of love, Sabino went to the Bishop and asked Valentine if he could convert to Christianity.
Once Serapia’s parents learned of his conversion, they gave Sabino their consent. However, while preparing for the wedding, the young bride-to-be fell very ill. When the centurion learned that his love was going to die, he returned to Bishop Valentine and asked not to be separated from Serapia, since his life would have no meaning without her.
According to the legend, Valentine felt pity for the young lad and decided to marry the couple and, during the benediction, caused them both the fall into eternal sleep, united forever.
In order to celebrate the love Sabino had for Serapia and yours for your loved one, we suggest a romantic dinner for two. Our chefs have put together a selection of recipes and multi-course menus for this special holiday.
Valentine’s Day menu selected by Academia Barilla chefs
Additional Valentine’s Day recipes to discover