Love is in the Air
On February 14th around the year 278AD, Valentine, a holy priest in Rome in the days of Emperor Claudius II, was executed.
The emperor had to maintain a strong army, but was having a difficult time getting soldiers to join his military leagues. Claudius believed that Roman men were unwilling to join the army because of their strong attachment to their wives and families.
To get rid of the problem, Emperor Claudius banned all marriages and engagements in Rome. Valentine, realizing the injustice of the decree, defied the Emperor and continued to perform marriages for young lovers in secret. When Valentine’s actions were discovered, the Emperor ordered that he be put to death. Valentine was arrested and dragged before the Prefect of Rome, who condemned him to a severe and bloody execution. The sentence was carried out on February 14, on or about the year 278AD.
Legend also has it that while in jail, St. Valentine left a farewell note for the jailer’s daughter, who had become his friend, and signed it “From Your Valentine.”
For his great service, Valentine was named a saint after his death.
Gradually, February 14th became a date for exchanging love messages,
poems and simple gifts such as flowers.
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