One legend contends that Valentine was a priest who served during the third century in Rome. When Emperor Claudius II decided that single men made better soldiers than those with wives and families, he outlawed marriage for young men — his crop of potential soldiers. Valentine, realizing the injustice of the decree, defied Claudius and continued to perform marriages for young lovers in secret. When Valentine's actions were discovered, Claudius ordered that he be put to death. Other stories suggest that Valentine may have been killed for attempting to help Christians escape harsh Roman prisons where they were often beaten and tortured.
According to one legend, Valentine actually sent the first 'valentine' greeting himself. While in prison, it is believed that Valentine fell in love with a young girl — who may have been his jailor's daughter — who visited him during his confinement. Before his death, it is alleged that he wrote her a letter, which he signed 'From your Valentine,' an expression that is still in use today. Although the truth behind the Valentine legends is murky, the stories certainly emphasize his appeal as a sympathetic, heroic, and, most importantly, romantic figure. It's no surprise that by the Middle Ages, Valentine was one of the most popular saints in England and France. Most believe that Valentine's Day is celebrated in the middle of February to commemorate the anniversary of Valentine's death or burial — which probably occurred around 270 A.D
Valentine greetings were popular as far back as the Middle Ages (written Valentines didn't begin to appear until after 1400), and the oldest known Valentine card is on display at the British Museum. The first commercial Valentine's Day greeting cards produced in the U.S. were created in the 1840s by Esther A. Howland. (from www.History.com )
How can the Christian celebrate Valentine’s Day as it relates to Christ? All I know is I can’t count high enough to express my love for my Savior Jesus Christ. Eternity is not long enough to thank Him for purchasing me from certain death and separation from God. This is what Jesus means to me on Valentine’s Day…
He demonstrated His own love toward me, that while I was still a sinner, Christ died for me (Romans 5:8).
For God so loved the world (me) that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believed in Him would not perish, but have everlasting life (John 3:16).
For He made Him who knew no sin to be sin for me, that I might become the righteousness of God in Him (II Corinthians 5:21).
Behold, what manner of love the Father has bestowed on me, that I should be called a child of God (I John 3:1).
By this I know love, because He laid down His life for me (I John 3:16).
But the Lord is faithful, who will establish me and guard me from the evil one (II Thessalonians 3:3).
He indeed was foreordained before the foundation of the world, but was manifest in these last times for me (I Peter 1:20).
For I was like a sheep going astray, but have now returned to the Shepherd and Overseer of my soul (I Peter 2:25).
For Christ also suffered once for sins, the just for the unjust, that He might bring me to God, being put to death in the flesh but made alive by the Spirit (I Peter 3:18).
I will sing to the Lord as long as I live; I will sing praise to my God while I have my being (Psalm 104:33).
For in Him I live and move and have my being (Acts 17:28).