A Brief History of the Beloved Holiday
There are many stories about the legendary Saint Valentine and who he really was, but the popular belief is that Valentine’s Day derives its name from a Roman priest active in the third century AD. This particular Saint Valentine served under Emperor Claudius II, who, according to legend, banned marriages among his soldiers because he believed married men made bad fighters.
Saint Valentine, understanding the absolute power of love, felt that this was unjust. He decided to break the rules and marry soldiers to their beloved ones in secret. Legend has it, he wore a purple amethyst ring with the figure of Cupid engraved upon it as a symbol of his clandestine mission. Roman soldiers would recognize this special ring and know that it was safe to ask him to perform marriage for them.
But Claudius found out about this covert marriage operation, threw Saint Valentine in jail, and sentenced him to death. While waiting in jail, he fell in love with the jailer’s daughter, Julia. Some legends say that he even healed her lifelong blindness, persuading the jailer, Asterius, and his entire family to believe in Jesus and become baptized.
Nonetheless, Saint Valentine was still sentenced to be killed, and on the evening before his execution, he wrote the world’s first Valentine card. It was addressed to his true love, Julia, and signed as, “Your Valentine.” This expression has been adopted for use on modern Valentine’s Day cards around the world.
Julia went on to plant a pink-blossomed almond tree next to Saint Valentine’s grave, and to this day, the almond tree–as well as the amethyst worn on Saint Valentine’s finger–remain symbols of his enduring love and friendship.
The legitimacy of this tale and other have come into question by many a historian through the years, but regardless, it’s still fun to believe in such a sweeping and romantic story. Whether true or not, Saint Valentine has gone down in history as the most romantic martyr in the Christian faith. Perhaps you can impress your valentine this year by sharing this story.
We’d like to wish you and your loved ones a very happy Valentine’s Day. Whether you’re celebrating with your spouse, best friend, or family, Valentine’s Day is a great opportunity to express our love for one another and to simply appreciate being together here on Earth. We’re certainly grateful for your presence in our HealthKeeperz family.
Happy Valentine’s Day!