St Valentine was a bishop in Rome who was imprisoned for performing marriages for Christian soldiers against the decree of the Roman Emperor, Claudius II.

While in jail, Valentine healed the blind daughter of his jailor and they became friends. He was eventually beheaded in Rome on February 14, 269 AD, signing a farewell note to the young girl with ‘From Your Valentine’.

His feast day became a popular celebration among couples in the 18th century, who expressed their devotion with greeting cards which were known as ‘Valentines’. St Valentine is the patron saint of engaged couples, happy marriages, epileptics, travellers and bee keepers.

Image: Stained glass window in the Basilica of St Valentine, Terni depicts St Valentine presenting a rose to a quarrelling couple as he coaches them on how to hold it (and each other) gently.

Originally published on SmartLoving.org.

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