Dead Christians You Should Know About — St. Valentine

Happy Valentine’s Day!
You hear it every year… colorful hearts, greeting cards, candy,
and stuffed animals line the aisles of supermarkets across the U.S. And other countries have their own ways
of celebrating too. The pressure of buying that perfect Valentine’s gift
for your significant other is sometimes just too much to bear. Valentine’s Day is a force of industry
and has become known as a Hallmark holiday. But what exactly does Valentine’s Day
have to do with Saint Valentine? Was he the patron saint of Hallmark cards and
sugar hearts with messages of love on them? Or does his story have a bit more depth? Let’s find out some more about this
dead Christian you should know about… St. Valentine was indeed a real person…or perhaps
persons that lived throughout ancient Rome’s history. Three have been sainted by the Roman Catholic Church, some potentially contributing to the St.
Valentine character that has been created. For the most part, the records that detail the specific actions of St. Valentine have been lost most as early as the fourth century AD, taking this story of St. Valentine
and turning it into more of a legend. However, there are some stories that stand out
among all the rest as lending to the Valentine story… and they all share the same hero.
His name was Valentinus. Our stories take us to Rome. The year is 269 AD. The Roman Empire is in turmoil and in the midst of
what historians now call the crisis of the third century. Facing external pressure from barbarians,
and large-scale migrations… not to mention an internal struggle for control,
that has caused rebellions, civil wars, and a juggling of power
throughout the century. Rome was in an increasingly difficult position. The Roman problem was very quickly becoming one
of not having enough soldiers to fill their armies. And the current emperor, Claudius Gothicus,
also known as Claudius the Second or, more commonly, as Claudius the Cruel
had the solution. Claudius outlawed all marriages
and engagements in Rome, and then forced all those who were not
currently engaged or married into the military. Those men who had been married prior
to Claudius’s decree (the lucky ones…) were exempt and were able
to continue living their lives. Rome had found its army in the midst
of its cities and villages by pulling its men out of their professions
and fields and placing them on the battlefield. These men would forego the potential for love and family… at least for a bit. …and hopefully not die on a Roman battlefield
while fighting the barbarian horde. Enter Valentinus, the Bishop of Terni. Valentinus was a priest in Rome
at the time of Claudius’s decree. …Did I mention that he was a Christian?
Valentinus was a Christian priest, which at the time — while not completely illegal —
wasn’t the most popular career choice. Valentinus, being the hopeless romantic that he was, decided that he would defy the decree of the Emperor and continue to marry those young couples
who wished to be married either for love or (let’s be honest)
maybe avoiding conscription. Valentinus is said to have cut out hearts from paper
to give the now-exempted husbands, as well as persecuted christians
to remind them of their wedding vows, and of God’s love in their time of great tribulation.
Sound familiar? Sometime later, while under house arrest
in the home of a judge, Valentinus was forced to test his Christian faith. The judge brought his blind daughter to
Valentinus, instructing him that he would follow his every instruction if he was
just able to restore the daughter’s sight. Valentinis sat beside the girl,
placed his hands on her eyes and prayed. He removed his hands from the girl’s eyes
a short time later to see them fully restored. She could see! Struck by the miracle that just been performed,
the judge followed Valentinus’s every instruction. He baptized his entire household. He freed his slaves, and destroyed all the idols to his pagan gods. The rumors of Valentinus’s acts
of miracles and kindness made their way all the way up
to the top of the food chain. Claudius, the Emperor himself,
issued an arrest warrant for Valentinus and imprisoned him for his crimes against the Empire, notably helping Christians
and his defiance of the Emperor’s decree against marriage
Valentinus not being one to sit in his prison cell idle waiting for the time of
his execution befriended not only his jailer but Emperor Claudius himself
this friendship had its benefits for Valentinus giving him an opportunity to
denounce his Christian faith and quickly be released from prison
however rather than deny his Christian beliefs valentinus attempted to preach
the gospel to the Emperor and was very quickly sentenced to death for his
actions refusing to die after being beaten by clubs and stones a customary
execution for Christians at the time Claudius had him beheaded at the flaw
Mian gate likely to a crowd of tens of thousands of people legends of
Valentinus tell a story of just prior to this execution when he healed his
jailers daughter’s blindness throughout his imprisonment he had grown close to
this daughter and the jailer himself calling them friends
upon his death sentence he left her note a note that was signed from your
Valentine the Roman Catholic Church recognized the lives of three
individuals for st. Valentine the prior story is attributed to one or all of
them he was canonized in 496 ad with his observation day being the feast of Saint
Valentine on February 14th these stories seem a bit far off from the teddy bears
and heart-shaped candy boxes that we receive on this now Hallmark holiday but
the deeper message behind st. Valentine’s actions remain st. Valentine
led a life filled with love for his fellow man doing whatever he could to
open their eyes and see the truth of Jesus Christ their Savior forsaking all
even his own wife for the sake of the gospel and that is why he’s a dead Christian
you should know about thank you for listening or watching dead
Christians you should know about dead Christians is a publication of higher
things incorporated all research writing and recording for this episode was done
by me Patrick Sturdivant and all video
animation was done by Sondra Madden for more information about dead Christians
you should know about or higher things visit our website at higher things org
happy st. Valentine’s Day

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