St. Valentine's Day has a story and a life behind it. Did you know? I can't believe it's been another year since I first shared this story, but it moved me. Changed how I see this day.
A dear friend, Bay Area Artist, Sally K. Green, introduced me to the story. It gave new meaning to February 14 and I wanted to share it with you. Regardless of your faith, it serves as a reminder to us all that few things in our lives have arrived without the sacrifices of others before us. May we add to its universal symbol of friendship and affection, a heart filled with gratitude.
The Story of Saint Valentine
Saint Valentine gave comfort and counsel to Christians who were in prison awaiting their execution during the rule of Emperor Claudian Caesar. In those days people were put to death for being followers of Christ.
In order to increase his army, Caesar forbid young men to marry, believing that single men made better soldiers than married men. But Saint Valentine refused to follow Caesar’s orders and urged young lovers to come to him in secret so that they could be married. Eventually it was discovered and Saint Valentine was arrested and brought before Caesar. Caesar was so impressed with the young priest that he attempted to convert him away from Christianity to believe in the many Roman gods, but Valentine refuse, he held true to his faith and instead tried to convert Caesar to Christianity–Caesar was angry and condemned him to death.
While in prison waiting for his own execution, Valentine became friends with the jailer, Asterius, and his blind daughter. Asterius’ daughter was very kind to Valentine and brought him food and messages. They developed a friendship and toward the end of his imprisonment Valentine was able to convert both of them to Christianity. It is believed that Saint Valentine also performed a miracle by restoring the girl’s sight.
The night before his execution, Valentine wrote a farewell message to the girl and signed it “From Your Valentine,” a phrase that we use today. He was executed on February 14th, 273 AD.
On the list of Christian martyrs it reads,
“At Rome, on the Flaminian Way,
the heavenly birthday of the
blessed martyr Valentine, a priest.
After performing many miraculous
cures and giving much wise counsel
he was beaten and beheaded under
The valentine has become the universal symbol of friendship and affection shared on the anniversary of Valentine’s execution, St. Valentine’s Day.
Learn about other spiritual messengers and leaders with a lasting impression at Sally's online gallery.
She has a wonderful way of telling the little known stories behind her paintings and sculptures that give them new meaning.