. . .During the first three centuries of Christianity, there were 10 major persecutions in which the government threw Christians to the lions, boiled them alive, had their tongues cut out, and worse. Christian writings, scriptures and historical records were destroyed.
Because so many records were destroyed, details of Saint Valentine’s life are scant. What little is know was passed down and finally printed in the year 1260 in “Legenda Sanctorum” by Jacobus de Voragine, and in the Nuremberg Chronicle, 1493.
Saint Valentine was either a priest in Rome or a bishop in Terni, central Italy. He risked the Emperor’s wrath by standing up for traditional marriage, secretly marrying soldiers to their young brides. When Emperor Claudius demanded that Christians deny their consciences and worship pagan idols, Saint Valentine refused. Saint Valentine was arrested, dragged before the Prefect of Rome, and condemned him to die.
While awaiting execution, his jailer, Asterius, asked Saint Valentine to pray for his blind daughter. When she miraculously regained her sight, the jailer converted and was baptized, along with many others. Right before his execution, Saint Valentine wrote a note to the jailer’s daughter, signing it, “from your Valentine.”
Saint Valentine was beaten with clubs and stones, and when that failed to kill him, he was beheaded outside the Flaminian Gate on Feb. 14, 269 A.D. (Read more from “The Origin of Valentine’s Day Is Not What You Think” HERE)