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Why St. Valentine, The Patron St. Of Love, Was Executed

Jan 12, 2008
As early as the fourth century B.C., the Romans engaged in an annual young man's rite to passage to the God Lupercus. The names of the teenage women were placed in a box and drawn at random by adolescent men; thus, a man was assigned a woman companion for the duration of the year, after which another lottery was staged. After eight hundred years of this cruel practice, the early church fathers sought to end this practice... They found an answer in Valentine, a bishop who had been martyred some two hundred years earlier.

The way boys became men, or rights to passage to manhood, was, once per year, all the teenage girl's names in the village were place in a box. All the boys one by one picked a name from the box. The name he chose was the girl who would be more or less "his slave" for a year. It would be another eight centuries before church leaders terminated this annual event.

As it turns out, the event was a celebration of a priest who had lived near Rome in late second century named Valentine. At the time Claudius 11 ruled the empire and decided to outlaw marriage. The Roman Empire was coming to an end and he needed the strongest male soldiers he could find. He felt that marriage ruined a soldier and that it made him too attached emotionally to his family and could not focus on fighting.

After witnessing the horrors of young lovers being torn apart for wanting to be married, Valentine held secret ceremonies and married them anyway. He was soon caught by Claudius' army. Claudius tried to convert him to the Roman way of thinking but Valentine held firm to his Christian beliefs and was executed.

On February 24th, 270, Claudius put him to death.

While Valentine was a prisoner waiting to her the verdict, he came in contact with his jailer, Asterius. The jailer had a blind daughter. Asterius requested him to heal his daughter. Through his faith he miraculously restored the sight of Asterius' daughter. Just before his execution, he asked for a pen and paper from his jailer, and signed a farewell message to her "From Your Valentine," a phrase that will probably live for many generations to come.

Valentine was later named a Patron Saint, and spiritual overseer of an annual festival. The festival involved young Romans offering women they admired, and wished to court, handwritten greetings of affection on February 14. The greeting cards acquired St.Valentine's name.

Valentine's day grew in popularity along with Christianity, and is now celebrated all over the world, celebrated by almost all faiths. One of the earliest Valentine's cards was sent in 1415 by Charles, Duke of Orleans, to his wife while he was a prisoner in the Tower of London. It is now showcased at the British Museum.

I only found out the origins of Valentine's Day today, and found it quite interesting. So what I decided to do was add a "Sex, Love, & Relationship" section to my main gift shop, and mark everything down up to 80% just through Valentine's day, just to make the Patron Saint proud. It can include a gift card and the customer does not have to sign it "From Your Valentine" but can if he/she wishes.
About the Author
Cartoonist and history buff Rick London has marked down to 80% all his sex, love, and relationship gifts just for Valentines Day. He owns Funny Gift Shops My Funny Valentine Gifts, and
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