When Emperor Claudius II decided that single men made better soldiers than those with wives and families, he outlawed marriage for young men. Valentine realized the injustice of this decree. He went against Claudius and continued to perform marriages for young
Christians in secret. When Valentine’s actions were discovered, Claudius ordered that he be arrested. During his trial, the Court officials asked Valentine, “What do you think of the Roman gods Jupiter and Mercury?”
Valentine answered, “They are false gods. The God that Jesus called Father was the only true God.” The Romans did not like this answer so they threw him in prison for insulting the gods. While in prison Valentine continued to minister to others and teach about Jesus. He witnessed to the guards. One of the guards was a good man who had adopted a blind girl. He asked Valentine, “Can your God help my daughter?”
Valentine knelt in prayer and eventually the girl was given her sight. The guard and his whole family were converted and believed in Jesus. They even were baptized. Because these people had come to know Jesus, Valentine praised God right there in his prison cell.
Valentine knew that he might get caught in his Christian activities. But he continued because he loved Jesus and his fellow humans so much. He was willing to risk his life to spread the good news of Jesus Christ to those who needed to hear it. And that is why this holiday of love is named after him. To love that much takes a tremendous heart.