27 Jan 2008

Valentine Story

The early Christian church had at least two saints named Valentine. According to one story, the Roman Emperor Claudius II in the A.D. 200's forbade young men to marry. The emperor thought single men made better soldiers. A priest named Valentine disobeyed the emperor's order and secretly married young couples.

Another story says Valentine was an early Christian who made friends with many children. The Romans imprisoned him because he refused to worship their gods. The children missed Valentine and tossed loving notes between the bars of his cell window. This tale may explain why people exchange messages on Valentine's Day. According to still another story, Valentine restored the sight of his jailer's blind daughter.

Many stories say that Valentine was executed on February 14 about A.D. 269.
In A.D. 496, Saint Pope Gelasius I named February 14 as St. Valentine's Day.

In Norman French, a language spoken in Normandy during the Middle Ages, the word galantine sounds like Valentine and means gallant or lover. This resemblance may have caused people to think of St. Valentine as the special saint of lovers.
(source: annieshomepage.com)

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