Happy Valentine's Day
When Claudius became the emperor of Rome, he felt that married men did not make good soldiers. He believed that marriage made the men weak. So, needing good soldiers, he issued an edict forbidding marriage. The ban on marriage was a great shock for the Romans. But they dared not voice their protest against the mighty emperor. The kindly bishop Valentine realized the injustice of the decree. He saw the trauma of young lovers who gave up all hopes of being united in marriage. He determined that he would counter the monarch's orders in secrecy. Whenever lovers thought of marrying, they went to Valentine who met them in a secret place and performed a ceremony. Such things could not remain hidden for long and Claudius came to know of this "friend of lovers," and had him arrested. When Claudius II met Valentine, he was said to have been impressed by the dignity and conviction of the man. However, Valentine refused to agree with the emperor regarding the ban on marriage. Valentine refused to recognize Roman gods and even attempted to convert the emperor to Christ. This angered Claudius II who gave the order to execute Valentine.
Meanwhile, a deep friendship had been formed between Valentine and the jailer’s daughter. It is said that just before his execution, Valentine asked for a pen and paper from his jailor and signed a farewell message to her "From Your Valentine;" a phrase that has lived ever since. He was martyred for refusing to renounce his faith in Christ on February 14, 270 AD. Thus the 14th of February became a day for all lovers and Valentine became its Patron Saint. It began to be annually observed by young Romans who offered handwritten greetings of affection, known as Valentines. Valentine should be remembered as a champion for Christ who left us the example of holding to the faith.
Happy Valentine's Day,