Culture

MORE THAN A HALLMARK HOLIDAY

It started with the Romans around the year 270 A.D. St. Valentine was a priest who lived around the city of Rome during the time of Emperor Claudius II. While Rome was under threat by the Huns, Turks and Slavs, Claudius II banned marriage in order to ensure quality soliders who were not emotionally attached.

A bishop, St. Valentine helped young lovers by joining them in the sacrament of matrimony. When Claudius II discovered St. Valentine’s disobedience he arrested him and in an attempt to save him from execution he tried to convert Valentine to recognize the Roman gods.

While Valentine was in prison he healed the blind daughter of his jailer. Before his execution on Feb. 24, 270 A.D. he wrote a note to the jailer and signed it “From your Valentine” thus giving birth to the popular holiday phrase.

When St. Valentine was later made a patron saint his day was assigned to Feb. 14. In celebration, young Romans who were courting would offer each other cards with St. Valentine’s name on them.

Spread by Christianity and picked up by greeting card companies everywhere, Feb. 14 has become the official holiday of love. So pick up a card and tell those important to you how much you love them.

February 14, 2006

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