Valentine’s Day is named after Saint Valentine, a Catholic priest who lived in Rome in the 3rd century. There are many stories about St Valentine, and over time these stories grew into the legend we know today. One legend contends that Valentine was a priest who served during the third century in Rome. Well, let’s start from the very beginning.
Two thousand years ago, the most powerful army in the world belonged to the Romans. The Romans were so strong that they conquered almost all of Europe and parts of Asia and Africa, but then they began to grow very rich and a little bit lazy. The soldiers missed their homes. They wanted to get married and settle down.
The Emperor, whose name was Claudius II, grew worried that his army was growing soft, and so he made a law that no soldier was allowed to get married. By that time, many of the Romans were Christians, and one of their leaders was a bishop called Valentine. Valentine believed that if a man and woman fell in love with each other, they should get married, and so he decided to let soldiers get married in his church even though it was against the law. The soldiers’ weddings were meant to be kept secret, but as you know, all secrets are hard to keep, and soon the word got out.
Valentine was arrested and brought before the Emperor, who demanded that he stopped helping soldiers to marry, and instead of that, he prayed to Rome’s gods. Valentine refused to do so, and the Emperor sentenced him to death.
While Valentine was in prison, the jailer’s daughter used to bring him his food. She was a beautiful young woman, but unfortunately, she was blind. She and Valentine used to spend long hours talking to each other, and they became closer. Soon they fell in love.
One Day Valentine put his hand through the cell bars and touched the lips of her closed eyes. When she opened them again, she could see. It was a miracle.
Valentine’s execution was set for February 14. On his last night, he wrote his final message to the girl. He signed his love letter From your Valentine.
This took place in the year 270, and ever since, lovers have sent each other messages on 14th February with the same signature “From your Valentine.”
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