BY MOLLIE S. WATERS
The Greenville Standard
A day for couples everywhere to express their love for one another with hearts, balloons, flowers, stuffed animals, or candy.
Yet, Valentine’s Day had a tragic start.
Sometime around the year 270 A.D. in the city of Rome, there was a priest named Valentine.
At that time, Christianity was still not widely accepted, and many Christians were persecuted under the rule of Roman emperors.
In 270 A.D., the Roman emperor was Claudius the Cruel, who was having a small problem with his army personnel.
According to History.com, “Claudius believed that Roman men were unwilling to join the army because of their strong attachment to their wives and families. To get rid of the problem, Claudius banned all marriages and engagements in Rome.”
Many, including the priest Valentine, believed Claudius’ decree was unjust, so Valentine began to perform marriages in secret.
It was not long before Claudius received reports of Valentine’s actions, so Claudius had Valentine arrested and condemned the man to death.
Before the sentence could be carried out, Valentine supposedly fell in love.
“Legend also has it that while in jail, St. Valentine left a farewell note for the jailer’s daughter, who had become his friend, and signed it ‘From Your Valentine’,” states History.com.
Valentine was ultimately beaten with clubs and beheaded on Feb. 14, 270 A.D., and for his actions to help lovers obtain Christian marriages, he was later declared a saint.
Thus, February 14 became Valentine’s Day, and now it celebrated for its connection to love.