03 March, 2011
I heard this story the other day. The sunday before Valentine's day, actually. I was going to post it then, but I forgot. The telling was better than this version, and who knows if a shred of it is true, but I liked it.
Now, back many years ago, there lived in Rome a young priest named Valentine. In those days, Roman soldiers were forbidden to marry, for it was thought that the distractions of marriage would make them weak and vulnerable. But this young priest defied the emperor's decree and performed marriages in secret. When his actions were discovered, Valentine was thrown into prison. He befriended his guard. One day, the guard brought his blind daughter to Valentine, and asked him to heal her. What Valentine did then is unknown, but, however it happened, he restored sight to the girl. Valentine was taken before the emperor, to be tried. As he defended himself, the emperor began to take a liking to Valentine. But when Valentine tried to convert the emperor, any benevolent feelings he had vanished. He ordered Valentine to be executed. As a last request, Valentine asked for a piece of paper, and on it he wrote a note to the guard's daughter. For, you see, they had fallen in love. The note read, "From your Valentine."