Valentinus, Gift of Love

This is the fascinating story of the priest, St. Valentine. According to history, Valentinus (the Latin form) was thrown into a dungeon. Although his jailer, Asterius, was not harsh, the priest lived with only the bare necessities. His one comfort while in prison was his friendship with Asterius' blind daughter. She befriended the kindly priest by bringing him food and delivering messages. After a year in jail, Valentinus was summoned to appear before Claudius II. The emperor was so impressed by the young priest's dignity that Claudius attempted to convert him from Christianity to save him from execution.

Valentinus, however, refused and was ordered to be beaten with clubs, stoned and executed. In the last days of his life, Valentinus, through his faith, restored the sight of the jailer's daughter. He also converted Asterius and the girl to his faith.

On the eve of his execution the priest wrote a farewell message to the girl and signed it 'From Your Valentine.' His execution was carried out on Feb 14, 269 A.D in Rome. According to legend, a pink almond tree, a symbol of friendship and affection shared each anniversary of the priest's execution marks Valentine's Day.

Although, thought to be a day for lovers, Valentine's Day is actually a day to profess your love and affection for anyone. It is a time to renew and strengthen the friendship and relationship shared. Happy Valentine's everyone. Have a lovely loving day!

[ Punitha Subramaniam -- from 'Love Quotes' ( ]


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