The first Valentine

The Roman Emperor Claudius II needed soldiers. He suspected that marriage made men want to stay at home with their wives, instead of fighting wars, so he outlawed marriage.

A kind-hearted young priest named Valentine felt sorry for all the couples who wanted to marry, but who couldn’t. So secretly he married as many couples as he could – until the Emperor found out and condemned him to death. While he was in prison awaiting execution, Valentine showed love and compassion to everyone around him, including his jailer. The jailer had a young daughter who was blind, but through Valentine’s prayers, she was healed. Just before his death in Rome on 14th February, he wrote her a farewell message signed ‘From your Valentine.’  

So, the very first Valentine card was not between lovers, but between a priest about to die, and a little girl, healed through his prayers.

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