St. Palentus stained glass window

Happy St. Palentine’s Day!

We all know about Valentine’s Day–the holiday when couples gather together to celebrate their love while everyone else debates how much the pizza guy will judge them for ordering two large calzones. What you may not know about this traditionally feminine holiday is that it actually has its roots in a much more pure and underrepresented holiday celebration–St. Palentine’s Day.

St. Palentus stained glass window
St. Palentine with his famous stick used to defend the weak and throw down with Roman bandits

St. Palentine was originally a Christian priest who preached illegally to Roman civilians. Palentinus (his Latin name) practiced Christianity because he dug Jesus’ instructions which he basically stated as, “be excellent to one another.” Of the many citizens he converted was a man named Valentinus, who quickly became his most ardent follower. It was with Valentinus that Palentinus gained sainthood, after performing three miracles:

  1. Driving his chariot fifty miles out of Rome to pick up Valentinus from that sketchy party out in the burbs
  2. Helping Valentinus somehow install a Brazilian Teak deck out back in his Domus, elevating his legendary grill master status
  3. Saving Valentinus’ life.

The last miracle Palentinus performed was to push Valentinus out of the way of a runaway horse cart, allowing himself to get run over. When Valentinus knelt next to his dying friend and master, he asked what he should do with his life. Palentinus responded, “just be a good dude.” Valentius bowed his head to pray, and upon opening his eyes, Palentius had disappeared.

Entitled “The Rescue of St. Valentine,” this mosaic portrays that one time Paletinus saved Valentinus from that super skeezy party in Tivoli.

For many years, men from all around Rome would gather on the spot of that last miracle, crack an ice cold beer, and talk about how good of a dude Palentinus really was. It was from these discussions that the term “being a Pal” arose.

Eventually, Valentinus became St. Valentine, dedicating his life to performing weddings for Roman soldiers. St. Valentine helped many of Rome’s brave soldiers finally seal the deal with the comely ladies of antiquity.

Vibia Sabina. Quite the catch.

But none of this, including the much more famous St. Valentines Day, would have been possible without our man St. Palentine. So before we soon forget, let us celebrate the life and sacrifice of a real ‘pal’ with an ice cold beer by the barbecue pit that Ted helped you build. Oh and don’t forget, Mark loaned you his truck so you could pick up grilling gear. Maybe you should just firet that thing up and invite all your buddies. Why not? It’s St. Palentine’s Day!

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