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St Valentine, love and epilepsy

St Valentine, love and epilepsy

Added: 12 February 2013, 12:09

Before the advent of modern science the cause of epilepsy was not fully understood. People used to believe that epilepsy may be caused by an evil spirit entering the soul, and spiritual healers would have been asked for their help.  In the Middle Ages Christians would ask Saints to intercede if they became ill, and the saints would ask God for His help on their behalf. Each different ailment had its own patron saints and the more serious the illness the more patron saints were attributed to it.  Although epilepsy had 40 patron saints at this time, St Valentine is the most well-known.

It is unclear how St Valentine became the patron Saint of Epilepsy.  Some people believe it may be because Valentine sounds like the German word ‘fallen’ meaning fall.  Epilepsy used to be known as the ‘falling sickness’.  To this day people ask St Valentine for help not only with love, but also with their epilepsy. So next time you #feelthelove, please donate some of that love to us too….