The Story of St Valentine

The Story of St Valentine
By Sophie 11 months ago 3340 Views No comments

The story of St Valentine is not one of love, in the way you might expect. Over the years, Valentines Day has been celebrated, under the assumption that St Valentine was the Saint of love, however history reveals a different story.

The world in which St Valentine lived, celebrated different values to today's society. Being a Roman Priest, he lived in a world where Claudias, the emperor, persecuted the church.

The emperor prohibited the marriage of young people so that soldiers would go off to war single. This was to encourage them to fight more effectively as they wouldn't be worrying about a wife or family back home. Although monogamy was not the norm, many were drawn to the Christian faith. The church viewed the marriage between two people as sacred and encouraged this way of life, which became problematic under the rule of the emperor.

This is where St Valentine comes along in our story. He encouraged people to marry within the Christian church, marrying couples secretly. Eventually, St Valentine was caught and imprisoned and tortured for his disregard for the emperor's rule. It was during his time in prison that Valentine truly made legend of his actions.

The story goes that Asterius, one of the men who was to stand as a judge at his trial, had a blind daughter. St Valentine prayed with and healed the young girl and it had such an astonishing effect on her father that he joined the Christian faith.

In 269 AD, Valentine was sentenced to a three part execution. This involved a beating, a stoning and finally a decapitation, all because of his active stance for the Church's marriage values. The story goes that Valentine's last words were in a note that he wrote to Asterius' daughter. Signing it 'from your Valentine'. These last words have inspired romantics around the world who send cards to their loved ones signed 'from your valentine' on the 14th of February every year.

To lay his life on the line for what he truly believed, is not the sort or martyrdom that has gone unnoticed. Among other locations, St Valentine's remains are believed to be housed in Blessed St John Duns Scotus in Glasgow, Scotland. The remains are held in a small wooden box labelled, 'Corpus Valentini Martyris' which means 'the Body of Saint Valentine'. Held at the entrance to the church, the box is held in a place of honour and is decorated with flowers every Valentines Day, while friars say prayers for lovers. It's presence has even lead to Glasgow label itself the 'City of Love'.

In some ways, St Valentine is the Saint of love, and in helping couples to marry in spite of the emperor's rule, this title certainly seems appropriate. He was also a man of strength, who stood up and died for his beliefs. Although St Valentine was not the saint of love in the way that he helped couples find each other, he certainly made sure that once they had, they would remain together in a time where the emperor was determined to do the opposite.

Valentines Day in Scotland has become a day of celebration, on the 14th of February every year. The day is seen as a time for adults and children alike to have fun, sending cards and dedicating the day to their loved ones, wishing to be together forever. It is certainly a day when love is declared, and whether humorous or on a more serious level, the declaration of love is something St Valentine would definitely be on board with.