WASHINGTON (CIRCA via MOBIUS.LAB) — When you think of Valentine's Day, chocolate and romantic gestures likely come to mind.
What you may not know is that the St. Valentine of Rome was a priest who was beheaded on Feb. 14.
Around the year 270 A.D., Roman Emperor Claudius II waged several wars but lacked enough soldiers. He attributed the shortage of soldiers to wives and families keeping men from joining his army; a quick fix was to ban all engagements and marriages in Rome.
But Valentine continued to wed couples in secret.
When Claudius found out, he sentenced Valentine to be executed. While in jail, the saint bonded with his jailer's blind daughter, Julia, with whom he prayed and healed.
Claudius offered Valentine a pardon if he renounced Christianity to worship the Roman gods.
Valentine was executed Feb. 14, 270, leaving behind a note to Julia signed, "From your Valentine."
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