The History Of Saint Valentine’s Day and Why it’s on February 14th
2000 years ago, the most powerful army in the world belonged to the Romans. The Romans were so strong that they conquered almost all of Europe, and parts of Asia and Africa. Then they began to grow rich and a little bit lazy. Life in the army was harsh, and many of the soldiers longed for the comforts of home. They wanted to get married and set up families. The Emperor, whose name was Claudius the Second, was worried that his army was growing soft; so he made a law that no soldier was allowed to get married.
By that time, many of the Romans were Christians – and one of their leaders was a Bishop called Valentine.
He believed that if a man and woman fell in love with each other, they should get married – and so he decided to let soldiers get married in his church, even though it was now against the law. The soldiers’ weddings were meant to be kept secret, but as you know, all secrets are hard to keep, and soon the word got out. Valentine was arrested and brought before the emperor who demanded that he stop helping soldiers to marry, and instead that he pray to the gods of Rome. When he refused, the emperor sentenced him to death.
While Valentine was in prison, the jailer’s daughter used to bring him his food. She was a young woman who unfortunately was blind. She and Valentine used to spend long hours talking to each other, and they fell in love. One day, Valentine put his hand through the bars of his cell and touched the lids of her closed eyes. When she opened them again, she could see. It was a miracle.
Valentine’s execution was set for February the 14th. On his last night on earth, he wrote his final message to the girl. He signed his love letter, “From your Valentine”. This took place in the year 270, and ever since, lovers have sent each other messages on February the 14th with the same signature.