Monday, February 14, 2011

Valentine's Day

Did Valentine's Day begin with a friendship between an incarcerated priest and jailor's blind daughter? The story goes that Valentine was the name of a Catholic priest in the 3rd century that defied the orders of a Roman emperor in performing marriages after marriage ceremonies had been prohibited. The Roman Emperor, Claudius, had the notion that men would join the Roman army if they were not allowed to marry. Valentine the priest, was against this ordinance and secretly married couples until he was caught and thrown into prison. While in prison one of his guards learns of his devotion to God sends him his blind daughter so that Valentine would train her in the ways of the Lord. The day is set for Valentine to be executed but the jailor's daughter comes to visit him one last time. While there, a great light fills the room while they are praying, and the blind girl approaches the light with Valentine and suddenly she receives her sight. Valentine and the girl rejoice over this great miracle. The next day, February 14th, Valentine is executed (some accounts vary). The jailer's daughter, Julia, learns that Valentine has left her a letter which he signs, Your Valentine. So every year she would visit his grave on February 14, writing a letter to her Valentine. The tradition of writing a letter on February 14 to our Valentine began this way.

Which ever way it began, I have always thought it is a lovely tradition, don't you?

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