Valentine was a priest who lived near Rome in 270AD. At that time the Roman Emperor, Claudius, decided to issue a decree that forbid people to get married. Why would anyone issue such a ridiculous decree? Well there was a lot of unrest at the time. Armies and insurgents from within and without were attacking the Roma Empire, and a large percentage of the men in the empire were being drafted to defend it. Claudius thought that married men were too emotionally connected to their families and that single men made better soldiers; so he issued the edict forbidding marriage.
Valentine continued to meet secretly with couples who wanted to get married and receive the marriage sacrament from the Church. He conducted many such ceremonies before he was finally being by Claudius. Claudius offered to spare his life if he renounced the Church and accepted the Roman Gods. Valentine refused and was sentenced to death.
While he was awaiting execution, Valentine had a jailer by the name of Asterus. Asterus asked Valentine to pray that his daughter’s blindness would be cured. Valentine’s prayers were answered and the girl’s sight was restored. Before he died, Valentine sent a farewell message to Asterus’ daughter and signed it “From Your Valentine;” and so we continue to use that phrase to this very day.
Valentine eventually became the patron saint for a festival held every February 14th. Young men gave written messages to women they admired and wished to court. These notes became known as St. Valentine’s Day Cards.
(Thanks to The HolidaySpot.com for these facts)