I interrupt your Valentine’s Day festivities to inform you, on the off chance that you weren’t already aware, that Saint Valentine is the patron saint of epilepsy. (OK, one of the patron saints of epilepsy.) So, using my convoluted reasoning, that basically makes today, Valentine’s Day, Epilepsy Day—”Patron Saint of Epilepsy Day” is a bit of a mouthful.
Don’t worry, I’ll make this buzzkill of a post quick so that you can get back to your heart-shaped waffles.
Why Saint Valentine? Epilepsy.org.uk points, for example, to “iconic representations of St Valentine healing people with epilepsy,” which “are frequently encountered in southern Germany, eastern Switzerland, Austria and northern Italy.” According to the site, “the first such representation appeared in The Nuremberg Chronicle, a great illustrated book printed in 1493. They often show the Saint with a boy or man having a seizure or apparently recovering from a seizure. This seems to echo the biblical story of Jesus curing the boy with epilepsy.”
Romantic, right? There’s nothing I associate more with Valentine’s Day than the great saint, also the patron of “affianced couples, bee keepers, [and] engaged couples” as well as “fainting, greetings, happy marriages, love, lovers, plague, travellers, and young people” (http://www.catholic.org/saints/saint.php?saint_id=159), hovering over a seizing male.
To get the most out of Valentine’s/Epilepsy Day, I suggest swapping your chocolates for anticonvulsant-flavoured lollipops and cancelling your dinner reservations in order to spend a romantic evening at home brushing up on seizure first aid.
Of course, I’m celebrating as normal, but don’t let that influence you.