A member of our homeschool group sent this out to all of us on our e-list today. The source is William Federer's American Minute. The information in it lines up with information I found at the Patron Saints Index and several other Catholic sources, so I thought I'd copy it here.
St. Valentine's Day
In the 3rd century, Emperor Claudius II was faced with defending the Roman Empire from invading Goths. He believed single men made better soldiers so he temporarily forbade marriage.
Claudius also forced the Senate to deify the former Emperor Gallienus, including him with the Roman gods to be worshipped. Legend has it that
St. Valentine was a bishop in Italy who risked the Emperor's wrath by refusing to worship idols or the former Emporer Gallenius and for secretly marrying young couples. St. Valentine was dragged before the Prefect of Rome, who condemned him to be beaten to death with clubs and have his head cut off on February 14, 269AD.
While awaiting execution, it is said he prayed for the jailers' sick daughter, who miraculously recovered. In 496 AD, Pope Gelasius designated February 14th as the feast day of St. Valentine.
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