“Enjoy life with your wife, whom you love…”
Claudius was the Roman Emperor in the third century A.D. He had a difficult time recruiting soldiers for the Roman army. He believed the reason was that young men didn’t want to leave their wives or girlfriends to fight. So Claudius outlawed all marriages and engagements in Rome for awhile in an effort to encourage men to join the army.
St. Valentine was a priest in Rome during this time. He thought the law forbidding marriage was preposterous and he refused to support it. So, as tradition suggests, St. Valentine continued to marry young couples – secretly of course. Eventually, Claudius discovered St. Valentine’s secret marriage ceremonies. The Emperor arrested St. Valentine and threw him in jail.
While St. Valentine was imprisoned, many young people continued to visit him in jail. They threw flowers and notes to him through his jailhouse window. One young girl who visited him often was the jailer’s daughter. She agreed that St. Valentine did the right thing by performing secret marriages. She continued to visit St. Valentine until the day he was put to death.
On the day he died, February 14, 269 A.D., St. Valentine wrote a note to the jailer’s daughter thanking her for her friendship and loyalty. He signed it, “From your Valentine.”
Thus began the tradition of valentine’s notes and cards. Of course, Valentine’s Day has mushroomed into flowers, chocolates, jewelry, romantic dinners, and much more. What a great tradition. Let’s celebrate true friendship and love!
Thank you for your perfect plan –
a man and a woman, married, loving each other,
and passing that love on to their children.
And thank you for Your example of true love
in giving your Son, Jesus, to die for my sin.
I love You, Lord. Amen