Well, today is Saint Valentine’s Day! I hope that none of you forgot about it. It is the day devoted to love.
I have decided to devote three blogs to the topic of love this week to commemorate this Valentine’s Day. In today’s blog, I will give you some history on the origins of Valentine’s Day. In tomorrow’s blog, I will be addressing all the different categories of people you should show love to and the order of importance you should have them in. Thursday’s blog will deal with the topic of God’s love to us and how we should pass that love on. It will definitely be a week filled with love.
Origin of Valentine’s Day
Approximately 250 years after Jesus was born in Bethlehem, there was a priest by the name of Valentine. He lived in Rome during the reign of Emperor Claudius, who was committed to rebuilding the once-great Roman army. However, he believed it was important for men to volunteer for armed service, rather than drafting men into service against their will. But, given a choice, most young men in the Roman Empire refused to serve. They’d rather stay at home with their wives and children than go off into battle.
Claudius came to believe that only single men would volunteer for service, so he issued a royal edict that banned all further marriages. He actually outlawed weddings in the Roman Empire, earning himself the nick-name Claudius the Cruel.
Valentine thought it was ridiculous! One of his favorite duties as a priest was to marry people. So after Emperor Claudius passed his law, Valentine secretly continued performing marriage ceremonies. He would whisper the words of the ceremony, while listening for soldiers on the steps outside.
One night, Valentine did hear footsteps at his door. The couple he was marrying escaped, but he was caught. He was thrown in jail and sentenced to death. Valentine tried to stay cheerful. Many of the young couples he had married came to visit him in jail. They threw flowers and notes up to his window. They wanted him to know that they, too, believed in love.
On day, he received a visit from the daughter of one of the prison guards. Her father allowed her to visit him in his cell and they often sat and talked for hours. She believed he did the right thing by ignoring the Emperor and performing weddings. On the day Valentine was to die, he left her a note thanking her for her friendship and loyalty. He signed it, “Love from your Valentine.” That note started the custom of exchanging love notes on Valentine’s Day. It was written on the day he died, February 14, 269 A.D.-a day that was set aside in honor of a man who gave his life for God and for love. Now, every year on this day, people remember Saint Valentine, but most importantly, they think about love.
Now you know how Valentine’s day came about if you did not already know. I hope you all have a wonderful day filled with love. Please don’t forget to tell all the people who are important in your life that you love them and thank them for everything they do for you.
Check out Part 2 of this blog tomorrow. I promise that you will find it very helpful. Happy Valentine’s Day!