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Published:  23 July, 2008

Move over St Valentine, there's another kid on the Bloc - a Bulgarian saint with an eye not just on helping lovers but on pleasing wine lovers as well. Step forward St Trifon the Pruner, Bulgaria's patron saint of the vine, whose likeness is portrayed in countless Bulgarian churches and whose pruning symbolises the end of winter and the awakening of the vines. In recent years, love-hungry Bulgars in the region of Rousse have adopted St Trifon in the hope that his ability to re-invigorate their vines could be used to reawaken their loved one's desires. According to a local paper, the men of the region on 14 February have taken to sending St Trifon-inspired Love Boxes' to their intendeds. These include: a foil cutter - to symbolise the pruning' of the relationship's past; a corkscrew - to signify the opening up of new experiences and pleasures; and a bottle of Bulgarian red wine - to help transform symbolism into full-on action. According to Stefan Abrahamov, of Bulgaria's largest wine exporter, Boyar Estates: Dairy Milk and floral pastiches were all very well during the fifties, but it is about time for a new saint with a more hands-on approach to love to move St Valentine on. St Trifon is that man.'