The Story of Saint Valentine.

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Not many people know that the story of Saint Valentine is a moving and heart warming tale of friendship and faith, not of romantic love.
 
Born in the 3rd Century under the reign of Emperor Claudius II, Valentinus was a Christian who believed in Jesus Christ. Emperor Claudis ordered all Romans to worship the 12 Gods and had declared that not doing so was a crime, punishable by death.
 
Such was Valentinus’ faith in Christ he refused to stop practicing his beliefs and so was arrested and imprisoned, sentenced to death.
 
During the last weeks of Valentinus’ life a truly remarkable thing happened. The Jailer who kept watch of Valentinus in the time leading up to his execution knew that he was a learned man and ask him to teach his blind daughter, Julia, all he knew.
 
Julia had been blind since birth, she was beautiful and her mind was quick. Valentinus read her stories of Rome, he described the world of nature to her, taught her arithmetic and told her all about God and Jesus.
 
Julia asked one day whether God really hears her prayers. Valentinus assured her that God hears everything, he sees everything and he knows everything. Julia responded by telling Valentinus that each time she prayed she prayed to see, to see all that Valentinus had described to her. She said it was not fair that a world so full of beauty was denied to her. Valentinus told her that God does what is best for each and every one of us and that if it was His will for Julia to be blind then He has a reason, all He asks is to be believed and trusted. Julia said she did believe and that she loved God with all her heart whether she saw or not.
 
They began to pray together and suddenly a miraculous thing happened. A brilliant white light filled the prison cell and Julia stood up with a radiant glow about her face proclaiming she could see!
Together they praised and thanked God for this miracle.
 
On the eve of his death Valentinus wrote his dear Julia a note urging her to stay close to God, to always believe and trust His will. He signed this note “from your Valentine” and his sentence was carried out on 14th February 270 AD near a gate which was later named Porta Valentini in his memory.
 
Julia, heart broken by Valentinus’ death, planted a pink-blossomed almond tree near his grave with stands today as a symbol of abiding love and friendship.
 
So it this is why messages of affection, love and devotion are exchanged around the world on this day, it is not reserved for lovers but should be shared by everyone.
Happy Valentine’s Day to you all <3

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