By Flourish Osmor Ray
The story of the man behind valentine
The origin of this holiday for the expression of love really isn’t romantic at all-at least not in the traditional sense. There is a real story of the man behind the holiday-St. Valentine. It was not for sexual pleasure. Not in the least was that the real reason.
The story of Valentine’s day began in the third century with an oppressive Roman emperor and a humble Christian martyr. The Emperor Claudius 11, while Valentine was a humble Roman priest. Emperor Claudius ordered every Roman to be worshiping twelve man-made gods, and had it as a crime punishable by death for anyone to be associated with Christians.
He also passed a decree prohibiting marriages in the belief that married men can hardly fight during wars as they continue to remember their wives and children while unmarried soldiers fight without any body to think of, against this decree, Valentine continued to conduct marriages in the church.
He was arrested and jailed by the emperor. During his last days in life, the jailers realizing he is a man of wisdom asked if they could bring her only daughter who coincidentally was born blind for him to pass his knowledge to her. Her daughter, Julia was brought to him in prison.
He began to lecture her about the love of Christ and the need to love selflessly no matter what the circumstances. The daughter asked him does Christ really love us? Valentine answered her in the affirmative-yes he love us! They began to pray every day and night holding each other’s hand. One day while they were praying, a great light shone into the prison, suddenly Julia began to see.
She screamed…I can see daddy. Valentine responded praise be the Lord. On the eve of his death, Valentine wrote to his daughter asking her to stay close God and signed it….from your Valentine. That letter was made public the next morning of 14th February, 270 AD near a gate that was later named ” porta Valentini in his memory.
The daughter planted a pink almond tree close to the father’s grave which became a symbol of love till date. So, St. Valentine celebrations was not muted for immoral purpose as exhibited by this generation. Let’s share true love and not lust.
Love is more than mere bedmatic exercise. It must be genuinely given and genuinely received on pro rata basis. Here’s wishing every one a fun filled VALENTINE DAY!!!