We’re all familiar with Valentine’s Day, a day to express our love to our dearest or perhaps an opportunity to declare your love to someone who didn’t already know. The day is marked with red hearts, chocolate, flowers, secret notes and grand gestures, but why? I'm sure you've heard of St. Valentine but who exactly was he and why is he a symbol of love?

St. Valentine was a Roman Priest during the time of Emperor Claudias persecution of the church. The Emperor enforced an order to forbid young people to marry, this was based on the idea that an unmarried man makes for a better soldier. Valentine didn’t support this idea and started marrying young people secretly in the Christian Church.

Sounds like a lovely story, St. Valentine facilitating young love, unfortunately for Valentine his ending was far from happy. Eventually he was caught and imprisoned until the year 269AD when he was formally sentenced to a three part death sentence. A beating, then stoning and then finally decapitation. It seems the authorities didn’t take too kindly to young love.

St. Valentine has lived on ever since as the patron saint of lovers. He represents life, love and the struggles associated with both. He laid his life on the line for something he truly believed in; love in it’s most real form. He didn’t have a romantic notion of love, in fact he was incredibly realistic, advising young people on the different stages of love and commitment. It won’t always be a romance novel but the struggles are necessary to truly experience the good times and to evolve and grow together. Sounds like very good advice to me, thank you St. Valentine for your sacrifice in the name of love.

Happy Valentine’s Day!

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