image: header

image: inkwell header

Welcome to The Inkwell, the blog site of American Christian Fiction Writers (ACFW) of Colorado.

Each week on Monday, Wednesday and Friday, you can find a wide variety of topics and insight
from inspiration to instruction to humor and more!

For detailed information on ACFW, click here to visit their main website.


Monday, February 14, 2011

Saint Valentine's Story

My name is Valentine. I was a priest during the third century when Rome was ruled by Emperor Claudius. A lot of people didn’t like Emperor Claudius including me.

Claudius wanted a big army and expected men to volunteer to join, but many men didn’t want to leave their wives and families to fight in wars. This made Claudius furious and he decided not to allow any more marriages. Young people thought this cruel, and I thought it preposterous.

One of my favorite duties was to marry couples. Even after Emperor Claudius passed his law, I kept on performing marriage ceremonies -- secretly, of course. Imagine a small candlelit room with only the bride and groom and myself. We would whisper the words of the ceremony, listening all the while for the steps of soldiers. And one night the steps came. Terror rippled through us. Thank goodness the young couple escaped in time. I was not so fortunate and thrown in jail, sentenced to death.

Wonderful things began to happen. Many young people came to the jail to visit me. They threw flowers and notes up to my window. They wanted me to know that they, too, believed in love. One of these young people who visited regularly, the daughter of the prison guard, helped to keep my spirits up. She agreed that I had done right in defying the emperor and performing secret marriages.

On the day I was to die, February 14, 269 A.D., I left my friend a note thanking her for her friendship and loyalty. I signed it, "Love from your Valentine." I believe that note started the custom of exchanging love messages on Valentine's Day. Now, every year, people remember and think about love and friendship. And when they think of Emperor Claudius, they remember how he tried to stand in the way of love, and they laugh -- because they know that love can't be beaten!

**Paraphrased from

1 comment:

Donna Schlachter said...

Mary, this was a great post. I just read it today, March 16, but enjoyed it just the same. I didn't know the origin of the tradition, and I'm glad to hear even in 269 AD, people could see that Love, the person of Jesus, couldn't be defeated. Amen!

Copyright ACFW Colorado | Layout and Graphic Design Eagle Designs