This story has a tragic “Romeo and Juliet” feel to it and stems back to the third century. According to legend, Valentine was a priest who deified the orders of the Roman emperor Claudius. When Claudius realized no young men wanted to join his army because they didn’t want to leave their wives and sweethearts behind, he decreed that marriages cease.
Valentine, realizing the injustice of the decree, continued to perform marriages for young lovers in secret. When Valentine’s actions were discovered, Claudius sentenced Valentine to death.
While in prison Valentine fell in love with the jailer’s daughter and on the night before his execution, he sent her a love letter signed “from your Valentine.” The next day, February 14th 269AD Valentine was executed.