Valentine’s Day is steeped in mystery, dating back to more than one thousand years. There are several different versions of how Valentine’s Day came to be. Valentine was an actual person, a man living around 270 AD. There are several accounts of how many Valentines there actually were. All versions, however, agree that Valentine’s Day came from the act of the man who was, it was believed, a Catholic Priest or Bishop. It wasn’t until after his death that he was given the title, Saint Valentine.
In either situation, it is believed St. Valentine angered the Roman emperor, Claudius II by disobeying his order. Because Claudius needed more soldiers at the time, he prohibited young men from marrying, choosing, instead, that they be inducted into the military without distractions, such as a family. Valentine, however, disagreed with this and performed many secret marriages between soldiers and the women. Once found out, Valentine was arrested, imprisoned and sentenced to die. During his imprisonment, Valentine fell in love the the blind daughter of his prison guard. Just before his execution, Valentine penned a letter to the daughter and signed it, “From your Valentine.” The phrase lived on long after his execution in 270 AD and is still used today.
Variations of the story changed over time but the power of St. Valentine’s love for the blind girl lived on for thousands of years.