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Valentine's Day: The REAL story!

Thursday, February 06, 2014

Roman Emperor Claudius II banned marriage

Claudius II believed that single soldiers made better soldiers. Therefore, in the third century A.D., Claudius II decided to make it illegal for young men to get married. As you can probably guess, this did not go over very well with the Romans. One person in particular who did not approve of this was a priest named Valentine.

Valentine performed marriage ceremonies in secret

To try and avoid the law, Valentine would marry people in secret. But, as we all know, doing things in secret is much harder than we think. And if there is one thing I have learned about Roman Emperors, it is that they do not like to be defied. Even speaking poorly about an Emperor's outfit could be catastrophic. So when Claudius II eventually found out about these secret weddings, he sentenced Valentine to death.

Something happened while Valentine was in jail

While Valentine was waiting for his sentence to be carried out, he would often see a young woman who would come to visit her father, the jailor. As time went on, Valentine and the jailor's daughter fell in love (back then Catholic Priests were allowed to marry).

Valentine was executed on February 14th 270 AD

Before his final sentence was carried out, Valentine wrote one final letter to his love and signed it “From Your Valentine,” which is the same expression we use today. About 200 years later, the Catholic Church declared February 14th as a day to honor Valentine, who had become a Saint. This is why we celebrate the day of Saint Valentine or “Valentine’s Day.”

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