Aleteia logoAleteia logo
Aleteia
Tuesday 11 May |
Saint of the Day: St. Ignatius of Laconi
home iconArt & Culture
line break icon

Seeing your Valentine: The saint’s face reconstructed

ST VALENTINE

ATOR - CC4

J-P Mauro - published on 02/13/19

Cicero Moraes continues to illuminate the saints with depictions based on their remains.

Cicero Moraes and the team of researchers who brought you the reconstructed face of St. Anthony of Padua are back with the patron saint of love and happy marriages. ATOR (Arc-Team Open Research) uses state-of-the-art technology to create a digital image of saintly remains, and from there they can render the most accurate possible depiction of what the saints may have looked like. Previous subjects have included Mary Magdelene, Sidoine of Aix, Rose of Lima, Martin de Porres, Jhon Macías, and Paulina Visintainer.




Read more:
The most accurate reconstruction of St. Anthony of Padua’s face

The process began with a photo shoot of St. Valentine’s remains at the Basilica of Santa Maria, in Rome. As Dr. José Luís Lira was unable to physically interact with the relic, he instead took the measurements of the reliquary. From this he was able to determine the proper dimensions of St. Valentine’s skull.

St. Valentine
Ator - CC4

The 40-minute photo shoot yielded about 250 pictures, of which 35 were chosen for digitization of the skull and the reliquary for continued reference. Then a scan was taken of both the skull and the reliquary, to be put through professional forensic programs, which gave them a clear 3D image of the relic.

Unfortunately, due to the limited angles of the photos, there were portions of the skull missing from the 3D image which needed to be replaced using their preexisting digital collection. The piece used to fill in the skull was chosen based on compatibility determined by hundreds of previous examples from their collection, as well as the photos taken of the relic.

St. Valentine
Ator - CC4

Once they had a solid image of the full skull, they digitally added muscle tissue and skin, and refined the facial features. It should be noted that the contours of the facial tissue correspond with the skull. The team utilized data taken from hundreds of individuals who were male, of European ancestry and over 55 years old as reference.

The process is far more complex than would be pertinent to explain here, but interested parties can find more information in the free ebook Digital Facial 3D Reconstruction, by Moraes.

In the final rendering, St. Valentine was dressed in a tunic, an official liturgical vestment which he most likely wore, as he was an early Christian priest. Moraes explained the color red was chosen because he was a holy martyr:

“… it was decided to use the red color for a kind of chasuble, a solemn vestment proper to the priest (deacon can not use it), which has no seam on the sides and is used in Sunday Masses and holy days.”

Tags:
ArtSaintsTechnologyValentines Day
Support Aleteia!

If you’re reading this article, it’s thanks to the generosity of people like you, who have made Aleteia possible.

Here are some numbers:

  • 20 million users around the world read Aleteia.org every month
  • Aleteia is published every day in seven languages: English, French, Italian, Spanish, Portuguese, Polish, and Slovenian
  • Each month, readers view more than 50 million pages
  • Nearly 4 million people follow Aleteia on social media
  • Each month, we publish 2,450 articles and around 40 videos
  • We have 60 full time staff and approximately 400 collaborators (writers, translators, photographers, etc.)

As you can imagine, these numbers represent a lot of work. We need you.

Support Aleteia with as little as $1. It only takes a minute. Thank you!

Daily prayer
And today we celebrate...




Top 10
1
Eric Clapton, Luciano Pavarotti, East London Gospel Choir
J-P Mauro
Hear Clapton and Pavarotti sing a prayer to the “Holy Mothe...
2
MOTHER OF ASIA - TOWER OF PEACE
J-P Mauro
Philippines finishes construction of largest Marian statue in the...
3
OUR LADY OF FATIMA,SUN
Philip Kosloski
Prayer to Our Lady of Fatima for healing and strength
4
CHURCH
Philip Kosloski
What are the 4 different parts of the Mass?
5
FIRST LOOK
Sarah Robsdottir
Dad’s priceless reaction to newborn goes viral
6
PRAY
Philip Kosloski
3 Signs of a spiritual attack on your soul
7
SAINTS
Meg Hunter-Kilmer
Saints to help if Mother’s Day is hard
See More
Newsletter
Get Aleteia delivered to your inbox. Subscribe here.