More than 300 years after the death of Jesus Christ, the Roman emperors still required everyone to believe in the Roman gods. Valentine, a Christian priest, had been thrown in prison for his religious teachings. On February 14, Valentine was beheaded, not only because he was a Christian, but also because he had also performed a miracle, supposedly curing the jailer’s daughter of her blindness. The night before he was executed, Valentine wrote the jailer’s daughter a farewell letter, signing it “From Your Valentine.” Another legend tells us that this same Valentine, well-loved by everyone, received notes to his jail cell from children and friends who missed him.
Another Valentine was an Italian bishop who lived at about the same time, AD 200. He was imprisoned because he secretly married couples, opposite to the laws of the Roman emperor.