St. Valentine - Beaten with Clubs and Stones, Beheaded
February's romantic holiday is not really based on love at all.
St. Valentine was a Christian priest in Rome during the third century who married couples and aided persecuted Christians in finding love, cause he was a badass and getting married at some point was a rebellious thing to do. And he didn't even dress up as Elvis.
But for these ceremonies and his cause, he was imprisoned by the Roman Emperor Claudius II, who took a liking to him until Valentine tried to convert him to Christianity -- which is always when conversations go South, isn't it?
Anyway, he was beaten with clubs and stones.
But when he wouldn't renounce the faith in his Christian God, he was beheaded on February 14 around 270 A.D.
St. Dymphna - Flees from Incest, Pays for It
Passed on through oral tradition, this story is about an Irish girl living in the 7th century whose Christian mother died when she was 14.
What happened next involves a sick mix of necrophilia and incest.
Dymphna's pagan father wanted to find a new wife who looked like his previous one, kind of like most families do with dogs.
When he got around to realizing that no one could look exactly like his wife, he went for his next best option: his daughter. So, she fled with her servants to Belgium. When he found her hiding place, he tried to convince her to return to Ireland with him. She refused and he decapitated her on the spot, cause everyone was really good at doing that back then for some reason. If he couldn't have her, no one could.
Dymphna is the patron saint of people with mental illnesses, incest victims and runaways.
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