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Thread: The History Behind Saint Valentine

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    The History Behind Saint Valentine

    Valentines Day is not just a day for couples to exchange chocolate hearts, cards, and romantic sweetness. (I'm certainly not knocking the fun stuff. ) But the history of this traditional holiday is really quite interesting.

    "It seems that three different martyrs named Valentinus died on 14 February during the reign of Emperor Claudius Gothicus (r268–270); none of whom married Christian couples or carried messages between jailed Christians.
    One was a general stationed in Africa. The martyrologies (lists of martyrs organised by death date) say only that “In Africa Valentini & militum viginti quatuor [He perished] in Africa with two dozen troops”. We know nothing more about him.
    The second was Bishop Valentinus of Terni, a town about 70 miles northeast of Rome; and the third was a Roman priest. According to the vitae (hagiographies) of the latter two, they both performed miraculous cures, debated with pagan jailors, and lost their heads in Rome.
    According to his fifth- or sixth-century hagiographer, Bishop Valentinus of Terni was summoned to Rome sometime in the 260s to cure the son of a rhetor [or orator] named Craton, who kept a school and housed visiting Greek scholars. His son Chaeremon, who was also a budding student of philosophy, had contracted a debilitating sickness that curved his spine and prevented him from walking, and Craton learned that the cleric had healed similar cases. But when he arrived, Bishop Valentine first tried to persuade Craton to become a Christian.
    Craton, trained in Hellenistic philosophy [Greek philosophy during the period running from the death of Alexander the Great in 323 BC to the end of the Roman Republic in 31 BC, known as the Hellenistic Age], found the tenets of Christianity to be illogical and ridiculous. “How can water, which washes filth off the body, clean away sins?!” he demanded. The debate dragged on as Chaeremon lay suffering and dying until Craton desperately struck a deal. If Valentine cured the boy, Craton’s entire household would convert. Valentine then spent the night praying alone with Chaeremon. The next morning, Chaeremon appeared hale and hearty. Everyone, including Craton, his family, servants, and the visiting Greeks, accepted baptism. When the Roman senate got wind of the business they promptly arrested Valentine, had him beaten, and then decapitated. The visiting scholars took the martyr’s body back to Terni to bury it. Unfortunately, Roman soldiers caught them and beheaded them as well."

    Aside from an ever increasing number of mortals who have willfully chosen to worship Satan and his minions, our battle has always been against the powers and principalities operating surreptitiously throughout this twisted world.

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