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The Story of St. Valentine

Saint Valentine discovered a unique type of love. A love so exciting, so powerful, so overwhelming as to make the romance of Romeo and Juliet look like puppy love, and the affairs of Josephine and Napoleon, Anthony and Cleopatra, Richard Burton and Elizabeth Taylor look second rate.

He lived in Rome during the third century. At that time, Rome was ruled by an emperor named Claudius. Emperor Claudius, was never a favorite of the people of Rome and also Saint Valentine.

Claudius wanted to have a big army. He expected men to volunteer to join. Many men just did not want to fight in wars. They did not want to leave their wives and families. Not many men signed up. This made Claudius furious.Claudius had a crazy idea. He thought that if men were not married, they would not mind joining the army. So Claudius decided not to allow any more marriages. Young people thought his new law was cruel. Saint Valentine thought it was preposterous! and decided not to support it.

Saint Valentine being a Priest, his favorite activity was to marry couples. Even after Emperor Claudius passed his law, he kept on performing marriage ceremonies secretly. Usually it would be in a small candlelit room with only the bride and groom and St.Valentine. They would whisper the words of the ceremony, listening all the while for the steps of soldiers.

One night, while performing the wedding ceremony St.Valentine heard the sound of the steps of soldiers. He made the marrying couple run in time but himself was caught. He was thrown in jail and told that his punishment was death.

While in prison he tried to stay cheerful and many young people came to the jail to visit him. They gave him flowers to show that they, too, believed in love.

One of these young people was the daughter of the prison guard. Her father allowed her to visit him in the cell. At times they would sit and talk for hours. On the day he was to die, he left his  friend a little note thanking her for her friendship and loyalty. He signed it, "Love from your Valentine."

It is  believed  that this note started the custom of exchanging love messages on Valentine's Day. It was written on February 14, 269 A.D., the day St.Valentine died. Now, every year on this day, people think about love and friendship. And when they think of Emperor Claudius, they remember how he tried to stand in the way of love.

Remember that love can't be beaten!