Blame it on Claudius: February 14, 2005
We spend a lot of money on candy and flowers and we can blame it on the Roman Emperor Claudius II. The Barbarians were invading the Roman Empire, and Claudius had a difficult time recruiting good soldiers. Apparently he had a volunteer army, same as we do today.
Claudius thought married men couldn’t be good soldiers, apparently because their wives kept them too busy washing the dishes, and taking out the garbage, to fight - so Claudius outlawed marriage. He was a dictator, so he didn’t have to worry about getting the ban against marriage getting through a “Family Values” legislature.
A Bishop named Valentine, later known as Saint Valentine, came to the rescue. In the best tradition of the separation of church and state, Bishop Valentine married young men and women in defiance of the emperor. When Claudius discovered what the bishop was doing, he had him arrested and thrown in jail to be executed. While the Bishop Valentine was in jail, by a miracle he cured his jailor’s daughter of blindness. Just before he was executed, he asked for a pen and paper and wrote a farewell note to the girl he cured, and signed it “From your Valentine.” The year was 270 AD.
Nowadays, if you don’t properly observe St. Valentine’s – it’s your life that could be in danger. So Happy Valentine’s Day to one and all!