One of the simplest gestures on Valentine’s Day is giving a card, but what if that is not enough to show your Valentine how much you appreciate them? In the Spirit of Love let us explore how Valentine’s day came to be:

St. Valentine was a priest near Rome around 270 AD. At that time the Roman Emperor, Claudius II, had issued an edict forbidding marriage. He banned marriage from his empire because he came to the conclusion that a married man made a poor soldier because they were emotionally too attached, and subsequently banned marriage.

Valentine, a bishop , seeing the trauma of young lovers, met with them in a secret place, and joined them in the sacrament of matrimony. When Claudius found out about this, Valentine was thrown in jail and condemned to death.

While Valentine was in prison awaiting his fate, he befriended his jailer, Asterius, who had a blind daughter. Asterius’ daughter befriended the kind priest by bringing food and messages to him. Valentine fell in love with the jailer’s daughter. Asterius requested that he heal his daughter. Through his faith he miraculously restored the sight of Asterius’ daughter and converted the two of them to Christianity.

After some time in prison the priest was ordered to appear before the Emperor. The emperor, impressed with the young priest’s dignity and conviction, first tried to convert him to paganism to save him from certain execution. But Valentine reversed the strategy, trying instead to convert Claudius. He failed. Just before his execution, he asked for pen and paper from his jailor, and signed a farewell message to the jailer’s daughter and signed it, “From Your Valentine.” He was stoned and beheaded on February 24, 270 AD.

Valentine becomes a Patron Saint and spiritual overseer of the annual festival. The church added the mid-February holiday in commemoration of St. Valentine, involved young Romans offering women they admired and wished to court, handwritten greetings of affection on February 14th.

Love is strong and can be expressed in many ways. Let’s appreciate the freedom we are enjoying today and express our compassion and care for your Valentine!