Legend of St. Valentine


The legend of San Valentino or St. Valentine

Fotografia / Photograph by Enrico Rubicondo

One of the many myths of the origins of St. Valentine’s Day can be traced back to a priest that lived in the 3rd century Rome that was beheaded for trying to spread love throughout the land.  

At the time, Rome was ruled by Emperor Claudius II.   The Emperor’s army was losing many unpopular wars and battles.   Many of the soldiers did not want to fight in these wars.   They wanted to stay at home with their wives and families.  

The Emperor then thought that if he outlawed marriages, that the soldiers would then want to fight in his wars.   However, St. Valentine did not agree with the Emperor nor his law, and secretly married many young couples.   But one day, St. Valentine’s luck ran out, and was caught and imprisoned by one of the Emperor’s soldiers.  

And while he was in jail, he would receive notes, flowers and gifts from those that believed in love and believed in his message.   He was also visited regularly by the daughter of one of the prison guards.  

But on February 14, 269 A.D., St. Valentine was beheaded for disobeying the Emperor and died a martyr.   His final message was a note to the prison guard’s daughter saying “from your Valentine”.   Later, in the year 496 Pope Gelasius I declared February 14 to be St. Valentine’s Day.  

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