The wildest legends circulate about the origins of Valentine’s Day as a day when lovers give each other a Valentine gift. Like all historical sources, their reliability should probably be covered with the cloak of love. After all, when it comes to history, you never know for sure whether it is fact or ficton that the person entrusted to eternity at the time. One of these stories about the origins of Valentine’s Day is so romantic that it is simply appropriate to tell it. Let’s make that our Valentine gift to couples with taste.
Flowers for the needy
The name Saint Valentine first appears in the third century AD. Depending on the source, it was either a priest or a bishop. Just as realistically, both clerics are the same person, because the timeline and their story as Christian martyrs are almost identical.
When Saint Valentine was still simply called Valentinus, he did a lot of good for needy fellow men who called on his help. There were quite a few of them, for in those days Christians were a hunted good. Throughout the Roman Empire, the belief in various deities, Jupiter and his companions, was in order and everything else was a reason for persecution. Whenever Valentinus visited someone, he gave that person a flower. Literally a Valentine gift, a gift received from Valentinus.
Love above all laws
One of the things he did was marrying soldiers in love. However, according to Claudius who was the emperor at that time, a good soldier was a bachelor, so he was prepared to die on the battlefield without remorse for wife and child. Valentinus believed that love was above all laws and secretively married many couples.
As soon as he heard about it, Claudius imprisoned Valentinus. Despite regular torture, Valentinus refused to renounce his faith. In prison, the convinced Christian met a jailer (other sources say governor) who was willing to convert in order to have his blind daughter healed by divine intervention. In his turn, Valentinus was willing to forget his vow of celibacy for a while, as he had an eye on the blind daughter.
When emperor Claudius learnt that his Valentine gift was a Christian jailer, he decided to literally cut Valentinus short. Just before his execution on 14 February 270, Valentinus realised that if he wanted to be canonised, now would be a good time to perform a miracle. He wrote a note to the daughter which he closed with “From your Valentine”. After the necessary chopping, the daughter opened the note and a flower fell out. Suddenly she could read the note. There are worse Valentine gifts!