The History of St. Valentine's Day: Where did Valentine Come From
A thorn in the Emperor's side
Popular belief says that around third or fourth century there was a Roman Emperor, Claudius II, who had grown powerful. With his power, his empire had also grown large and feeling the pressure from surrounding enemies, he needed a bigger army to defend his borders.
Knowing that married soldiers would not make good soldiers since they were attached to their wives and families, he knew that younger, unmarried men were ideal to defend his empire. So, the emperor passed a law banning marriage for young men.
Upon hearing this new law, a priest named Valentine decided to meet with young couples at a secret location join them in matrimony. Although, this would be short-lived when he was discovered by Claudius II and sent to jail.
Some sources say that Valentine had a chance to redeem himself when the emperor tried to convert him to Roman Gods and, after refusing such an offer, Valentine tried to convert the emperor.
It is also believed that while Valentine was in jail he fell in love with his jailer's daughter who was believed to have been blind and healed by Valentine. And on the day of his execution he wrote a letter to his beloved and signed it "From Your Valentine." This phrase is still in use today.
Valentine became martyred because he did not renounce his religion. However, the Catholic church removed his name, along with many others, in 1969 when they revised their liturgical calendar.