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.
The Story of St.
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.
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
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
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.
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.
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."
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!