Navigating Epilepsy: The Road Ahead

Valentine’s Day is also a day for epilepsy

valentine-hearts-150x150If epilepsy has touched your life in any way, you may enjoy knowing that Valentine’s Day is not only special because it is the day of love but also because St. Valentine is considered the Patron Saint of Epilepsy.
How might this connection have occurred? Because no one knew what caused epilepsy or how to treat it, people sought mystical explanations and hoped for divine cures. At some point in time, epilepsy had about 40 saints watching over it but St. Valentine has become the most famous guardian of epilepsy.
History is murky as to how St. Valentine became associated to epilepsy at all. Some speculate that in the German language, the word “fall” (as in the falling sickness-epilepsy) and Valentine sound very similar and may have led people to connect the two. In Germany epilepsy was sometimes called “St. Valentine’s sickness.” Thousands sought the help of Saint Valentine to cure their epilepsy. As time went on, more and more people spoke about how St. Valentine could cure epilepsy if requested. Artists depicted images of Saint Valentine curing epilepsy patients and this only strengthened the connection.
Nowadays, when we think of Valentine, we think of heart shaped cards, boxes of chocolates and roses. But why not make use of this sweet day to educate as many people as you can about epilepsy since St. Valentine is after all the Patron Saint of Epilepsy? Mr. Ron Lamontagne of Connecticut came up with the great idea of the bE my Valentine movement this year. You guessed it: the capital “E” stands for Epilepsy. He has called for us to share hearts in all shades of purple and to use each opportunity to educate others about epilepsy facts. There are just 6 days till Valentine’s so let’s get busy painting and sharing love and epilepsy awareness.

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