St. Valentine lived in Rome during the third century. He was a holy priest in the temple. During that time an emperor named Claudius was ruling Rome. Claudius was not a popular emperor and was disliked by the masses. Claudius was a warmonger and wanted to have a large army. He asked young men to join the army in large numbers. But people had other ideas and they believed in romance and love more than wars. They did not want to be separated from their wives and families. When Claudius came to know of it he became infuriated and issued a decree forbidding marriage for young men. Claudius thought that if men were not married, they would easily join the army. This new law was an attack on the personal liberty of the people.
As Valentine was a priest, one of his various activities was to marry
couples. He too considered the new law as cruel and ridiculous.
Therefore he kept defying the new law by performing marriages. This was
an open challenge to the authority of the emperor. Soon the emperor
ordered the arrest of St. Valentine. He was put behind the bars and
awarded death punishment. He was beaten with clubs and later beheaded.
Thus ended the life of a great man who sacrificed all just for the sake
of love. As a mark of love and respect towards this great man, we
celebrate the Valentines Day every year by exchanging flowers, cards,
candies, chocolates etc.The sacrifice of St. Valentine has kept the
flame of love and friendship burning forever!