~ Saint Valentine's Day ~

As early as the Fourth, B.C.
Back in the Roman Nation
A boy was assigned a girl
For a one year duration.

Eight hundred years, a practice
Till church fathers sought its end
They found the answer in Valentine
Who was martyred at his life’s end.

Some two hundred years before
An edict by Claudius-II
Forbade marriage in the Empire
(Not too smart a thing to do!)

There were forces from within
And threats from lands all about
The soldiers' wives and families
He thought, they could do without.

He wanted all his Armies
To have but one thing on their mind
Hoped that one Love, of Country
Would make them a special kind.

Valentine, a church bishop
Saw young Lovers in their pain
He met them in a secret place
Brought matrimony back again.

He joined them in the sacrament
Helped them make their marriage vow
Going against the Emperor’s wishes
More than his laws would allow.

He learned of this “friend of lovers”
And had him placed under arrest
Tried to convert him to the Roman Gods
But Valentine withstood that test.

He even tried to turn the tables
Show Claudius the Christian way
Knowing he would be executed
For that was the law of the day.

While Valentine awaited his fate
He made friends with his jailor
Who had a daughter who was blind
Who searched for a miraculous cure.

Well, Valentine restored her sight
Through his faith he claimed, divine
Wrote a last farewell note to her
And signed it, “From Your Valentine.”

February twenty-four, Two Seventy
He was executed for his “crime”
And thus became a Patron Saint
To be remembered for all time.

There was an annual festival
Young Romans wrote greetings of Love
To young ladies they longed to court
Which Valentine oversaw from above.

The cards were named after him
The Fourteenth chosen as the date
When those messages were passed around
To try to change the Lover’s fate.

One of the earliest cards known sent
Was by a Duke in Fourteen-Fifteen
Preserved in the British Museum
Where, still today it can be seen.

And to this day, around the World
We still send those cards to Lovers
Asking, “Valentine, will you be mine?”
And sometimes, we even ask some others.

Del “Abe” Jones © February 3, 2006



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