February 14

by Dorina Lanza

in General

In the 3rd century, Emperor Claudius II was faced with  defending the Roman Empire from the invading Goths. He believed  single men made better soldiers so he temporarily forbade marriage. He also forced the Senate to deify the former Emperor  Gallienus, including him with the Roman gods to be worshiped.

Legend  has it that Valentine was a bishop in Italy who risked the Emperor’s wrath by  refusing to worship idols and for secretly marrying young couples. Saint Valentine was dragged before the Prefect of Rome, who condemned him to be beaten to death with clubs and have his head cut  off on FEBRUARY 14, 269AD.

While awaiting execution, it is said he  prayed for the jailers’ sick daughter, who miraculously recovered. He wrote  her a note and signed it, “from your Valentine.”

In 496 AD, Pope Gelasius designated February 14th as “Saint Valentine’s Day.”

The  Greek name for Christ, Î§Ï Î¹ÏƒÏ„ÌÏ‚, begins with the letter “Chi” written as  an “X,” which is why X-mas became an abbreviation for Christmas.

In Medieval times, the “X” was called the Christ’s Cross or Criss-Cross, from whence “crossing one’s heart” was derived, and it was put on documents as a pledge or oath and kissed for sincerity, similar to swearing upon a Bible and saying “so help me God.” Thus Valentines cards are usually signed with X’s and O’s to express a pledge before God sealed with a kiss of  sincerity.

XOXO

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