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The Religious Affiliation of
(Valentinus of Rome)
early Christian priest for whom Valentine's Day was named
From: Ervin Shaw, "The note to the jailer's daughter" webpage in "Christian Testimonies" section of "The Truth . . . What Is It?" website (http://poptop.hypermart.net/testvr.html; viewed 14 February 2006):
The note to the jailer's daughter: During the 3rd century AD, Rome (under emperor Claudius II Gothicus) was extending its world empire and beginning to have great difficulty enlisting young men as soldiers. Why? Because men had discovered that marriage protected them from enlistment and that being home with a wife was more satisfactory than distant battles to maintain borders and conquer territory. So, Claudius The Cruel outlawed new marriages!! During these same times, Christianity was under maximum persecution...including Christians being thrown to the lions and gladiators in public arenas. But there was a priest of the Christian church in Rome: who lived near the emperor, who was popularly beloved by Romans, and who was favored by Claudius...having thereby been spared persecution. In secret defiance of the new decree, the priest performed secret marriages. He was soon discovered, was reported to Claudius, and was arrested and thrown into jail. He witnessed the gospel to the jailer and then to the jailer's daughter. That jailing had failed to break the priest's spirit, leading to an inquiry before Claudius. The priest witnessed to Claudius (Roman emperors considered themselves to be a god) about the one true God who sent His son Jesus to die for the redemption of all men, all being sinners. Infuriated, Claudius had the priest immediately clubbed and beaten for death and thrown back in jail for dead. But, the priest wasn't dead and didn't die. So, he was scheduled for execution by beheading. On that fatal morning, he sent a note to the jailer's daughter and closed it with, "from your Valentine". Valentinus of Rome was beheaded on the celebration day of the Roman God Juno, 14 Feb. 269 AD. Pope Gelasius created an official day of the church (St. Valentine's Day, in memory of the priest) on 14 Feb. 496 AD.
Webpage created 14 February 2006. Last modified 14 February 2006.
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