Who is St. Valentine?

Amyris Gonzalez, Staff Writer

On February 14, lover’s join together all around the world to celebrate their love. They gift each other chocolates, flowers, and candy in the name of St. Valentine.

Although quite a few know the history of this event and why we celebrate it, stories of this mysterious man and why we celebrate him have been passed down generation through generation, from Christianity to Ancient Roman traditions. It has been changed and reversed by those who know the story, many have stories to share.

The story that is mainly discussed in that of the catholic church’s belief that Valentine was a priest who served during the third century in Rome around the time that Emperor Claudius II decided that single men were better soldiers than men with wives and families, therefore outlawing marriage for young men. Valentine saw the injustice of this decision and deified Claudius, continuing to perform illegal marriages for couples in secret.

When Valentine’s actions were discovered, Claudius ordered that he be put to death. It was also said that when Valentine was imprisoned, he actually sent the first ‘valentine’ himself after he fell in love with a young girl–
possibly his jailor’s daughter–that visited during his confinement.

Before his death, It is allegedly said he wrote her a letter and signed it, “from your Valentine,” an expression that is still used today.

Although the story has been heard differently and changed, Valentine is still portrayed as
the heroic, sympathetic, and romantic figure. By the middle ages, Valentine became one of the most popular saints
in England and France, and his legacy continues throughout the world to this day.