Is this the face of Saint Valentine?

Published : 12:02 am  February 17, 2018 | No comments so far |  | 


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The real face of Saint Valentine may have finally been revealed thanks to new 3D scans of the Patron Saint of Love’s skull. Digital reconstructions reveal the Italian Saint had a strong jawline and died a young man when he was killed on February 14, 269 AD. The new scans contradict previous reconstructions of the Patron Saint of Love, which have typically suggested he was an older man of affluence. Little is known of the clergyman, but it is believed he was executed after he secretly defied a Roman Emperor’s strict ban on marriage, helping soldiers to pair off with their wives illegally.

It is believed his skull is now kept at the Basilica of Santa Maria of Cosmed in Rome, Italy.

Untitled-9Now Brazilian graphic designer Cicero Moraes has reconstructed the face of the Patron Saint using scans of the skull taken by a team of archaeologists from Italy’s University of Padua last year. 
Mr Moraes, owner and founder of imaging firm Cogitas3D, told MailOnline: ‘I started modelling the main muscles over the skull, after that we put tissue depth markers to know how was the face formed in different regions.

‘After, I made digital sculpting over the muscles and tissue depth markers. To finish, I put the hair and clothes.’ Mr Moraes said it took about a week to complete the entire reconstruction.

He used the ‘Manchester method’ which was developed by British forensic scientists in 1977 and recreates both soft tissue thickness and facial muscles.


Brazilian graphic designer Cicero Moraes has reconstructed the face of the Patron Saint using scans of the skull

Mr Moraes said that differences between his reconstruction and previous work based on the skull reflects the convoluted nature of the myth surrounding the Saint. He told MailOnline: ‘St Valentine is a story that had been amplified over time, and could be a legend made by more than one person.

In this case, the reconstructed man is young.’ As well as scans of the skull, the University of Padau experts radiocarbon dated the bones, finding that they matched up with the dates of the legend. The remains were dated to somewhere between 119 and 338 AD. St Valentine is known to have been born in 226 AD and died in 269 AD.

Mr Moraes told MailOnline: ‘The experts had direct contact with [the] skull and made carbon 14 test. It was a young man that lived more or less between the years 119 and 338.’ 

Daily Mail



Although St Valentine’s life is largely shrouded in mystery, tradition holds that the ancient clergyman, who was killed in 273AD, sacrificed his life for love by defying a ban on marriage imposed by the Roman Emperor Claudius II.

Historians claim the hard-nosed ruler was determined to build a formidable army to defend his empire.

He clamped down on lovers getting married as he believed that young men with no wife or dependents would be more likely to go to war.

But the early Christian saint challenged the edict and secretly performed weddings for couples.

The risks were great. Valentine lived at a time when Christians were persecuted and marriage ceremonies were still a new ritual.

St Valentine’s match-making activities, particularly for soldiers, were eventually uncovered and Claudius II imprisoned and tortured him.

Legend has it that while in jail many young people supported him by throwing flowers and passing notes through the prison bars expressing their belief in marriage and love.

And apparently shortly before his death, the clergyman fell head over heels for his jailer’s blind daughter, Artemias, who miraculously regained her eyesight.

On February 14, the day of his execution, St Valentine sent his sweetheart a goodbye love letter signed ‘from your Valentine’.