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Love & Roses

Who is this Valentine fellow anyway, and what does he have to do with love?

Valentine’s Day, or the Feast of St. Valentine, is a holiday celebrated wherever Catholicism and its descendants have taken root.  But little is known of St. Valentine, the man.

A third-century martyr, Valentine died on February 14th, hence the date of his feast.

It seems he is known more in legendary form, rather than factual.  So little is known about him that the Catholic Church removed him from the General Roman Calendar in 1969.  He is, however, still recognized as a saint, and likely has the most recognized name among non-Catholics of any other saint.

Get this: Valentine was once bishop of Narnia!  Not THAT Narnia of course.  But as Bishop of Narnia, Italy, he healed the sight of a blind girl to prove the validity of Christ.  As a result, 44 people were baptized into the faith that day, and a number of Christian captives (because Valentine lived in the days before the Romanization of the Christian faith) were freed.

He was executed for committing the heinous crime of performing Christian marriages.  Hence, I assume, the association with love.

He is the Patron Saint of affianced couples, bee keepers, epilepsy, fainting, plague, travelers, young people, and, of course, happy marriages.

To celebrate the Feast of St. Valentine, we’ve compiled a list of fabulous stories about Love and Roses.

First on the ticket is “Product Recall” by Robert Bagnall.  Electronic love at its best.

Then we hope you’ll enjoy “Marking the Witch” by Lina Rather.  “Love is a chrysalis, my dear; everything inside it transforms.”  Beautiful!

Next up is “I Don’t Want to Hurt You Either” by Ryan Row.  A different kind of love story.  Creepy and strange, but we love it.

Last, but certainly not least, our reprint for the month, originally published in Daily Science Fiction in April 2016, “Once I, Rose,” by Merc Rustad.

Here’s wishing you someone to kiss on St. Valentine’s Day!

Suzanne Vincent

Suzanne Vincent is the editor-in-chief of Flash Fiction Online. That’s what people think anyway. Actually, she’s really a pretty ordinary middle-aged woman packing a few extra pounds and a few more gray hairs than she’s comfortable with. As a writer, she leans toward the fantasy spectrum, though much of what she writes is difficult to classify. Slipstream? Isn’t that where we stick stories when we just can’t figure out where else they go? Suzanne’s first professional publication was right here at FFO, published before she joined the staff: “I Speak the Master’s Will,” — a story she’s still very proud of. While she doesn’t actually have time to blog anymore, she once did. You can still read her ancient posts on writing at The Slushpile Avalanche. Suzanne keeps a house full of kids (3), a husband (1), and pets (too many to number) in Utah, USA. Yes, she’s a Mormon. No, there isn’t another wife. Mormons haven’t actually practiced polygamy since the 1890s. Too bad. She’d love to have another woman around to wash dishes and do laundry.


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Margaret Houghton
Margaret Houghton

Maggy17. Thanks for the information about St.Valentine. l didn't know that.

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