What St Valentine looked like

Scientists have for the first time revealed the face of the patron saint of lovers, who paid a heavy price for his defence of romance 1,700 years ago , according to Daily mail.

Experts have revealed what Saint Valentine looked like, using state-of-the-art 3D interactive technology after studying the ancient holy man's skull.

His remains were digitally mapped and his face reconstructed by leading computer graphic designers, Cicero Moraes, using 3D interactive technology.

The unveiling is timely, as it comes a day before millions of people across the globe celebrate the modern-day love fest in his name.

The saint's relic, which is kept in the Basilica of Santa Maria of Cosmedin, in Rome, was photographed by José Luís Lira, a researcher and writer, and analysed by forensic anthropologist, Dr Marcos Paulo Salles Machado.

He concluded the head 'belonged to a European male aged around 55 years or more'.

Despite limited access to the skull - which is kept in a tiny glass reliquary in the church and coronated with a crown of flowers - the researchers claim to have produced the first authentic likeness of the third century Roman bishop.

The results of the 3D reconstruction, which shows how a series of photographs led to the digital rebuilding of the characteristics of the centuries-old face.

From the anatomical laying of soft tissue and muscle, to pigmentating skin tone and sculpting the features, the final result depicts a white haired, bearded benevolent-looking man. He is dressed in a tunic, the official liturgical robes of a priest of the time. The red represents his martyrdom,

Moraes, who is specialises in recreating the lifelike images of saints and has worked on the 3D face reconstruction of over 10 Roman Catholic holy people.