Friday, February 14, 2014
Valentines Day is when people of all ages and social groups celebrate their love for one another. Each year we look forward to Valentines Day as it is the time when we get an opportunity to express our love for the people around us. The real story behind Valentines Day is more than a thousand years old. This is the tale about St. Valentine and the origin of Valentines Day. More than a thousand years ago, a bishop named Valentine lived in Rome. In those days, the Roman Empire was suffering from aggression from many external enemies. In order to fight them, the Empire required a brave and strong army. The then Emperor, Claudius II, was of the opinion that marriages weakened men. Hence, he passed a law that strictly forbade marriages within the empire to ensure quality soldiers. The ban on marriages came as a shock to everyone. None of the subjects had the nerve to stand up to the mighty emperor and the law came to be accepted silently. Despite knowing all, Valentine decided to help lovers unite and secretly conducted marriage ceremonies. However, this was soon found out by the emperor and he threw Valentine in prison as punishment to him and a warning to others. It is believed that Valentine had special healing powers and, while in prison, he healed the blind daughter of the jailer, Asterius. A deep sense of love grew between the two of them and when the emperor came to know about this, he was furious. He sent orders for the execution of Valentine. It is said that before Valentine was executed, he had sent a small note to Asterius' daughter. As he ended the note, he did so with the phrase, from your Valentine'. This is the phrase that has lived for thousands of years even after his death. As a result of his martyrdom and the miracles performed by him, the title of Saint was proclaimed to Valentine by Pope Gelasius I and he is buried at Via Flaminia, at the north of Rome.