Almost A Love Story
What happened to St. Valentine?
The era was 3rd century BC where feudalistic system of government, as in monarchy widely exist in many kingdoms in Olden Europe or Eurasia. It separates the royal blood families from the slaves and soldiers. In Rome, many arguments were debated by the lawmakers about the situation of the soldiers. Speaking of soldiers, Emperor Claudius II gathered the people at the plaza then announced a special order for them.
"Listen to me, people! Young men who are in the service will never marry as long as they serve the kingdom. If someone of you violated this order, the punishment will be harsh that can lead to death."
People and soldiers alike, especially young men were saddened by the announcement. Young girls who were engaged to the young soldiers silently wept because of what Emperor Claudius II had declared. He outlawed the marriage for those pitiful young soldiers.
The news about the declaration reached the facade of the local church through the churchgoers, especially to the ears of a young priest named Valentine or Valentinus. He was furious and said:
"What the emperor did was a clear indication of injustice here in our place. This must be stopped."
He defied the order of Emperor Claudius II and secretly married young lovers. But in every place, traitors abound and soon the secret mission of the priest was revealed. He was brought to the court of the emperor.
"Because you didn't follow my order and you don't respect your emperor, I will put you into prison so that others may learn from you. You will rot in jail, you inglorious priest!"
During his time in jail, Valentine fell in love with his jailer's daughter. Before he was put to death, he sent a letter to the girl and signed it, "From Your Valentine" - an expression we still use today.
Valentine was executed on February 14, 270 AD. History recorded that people, young and old wept for the tragic death that happened to the good priest. Many people visited his tomb and offer flowers and prayers. Even his bereaved fiancee remained single and took care of his tomb until her senior years.
Because of his good deeds, a good high priest named Pope Gelasius redeemed his name around 496 AD. He declared February 14 as a public holiday in honor of Valentine and at the same time a saint.
Trivia on Saint Valentine
The association of St. Valentine with lovers is as a Christian replacement for the pagan Lupercalia and a medieval belief that birds chose their mates on this day February 14.
In 1969, Pope Paul VI dropped the celebration of Valentine's Day from the calendar. However, florists, card shops, lingerie stores, chocolate makers include the celebration by selling Valentine merchandise.