The first Valentine’s letter was written in jail over 1700 years ago. Saint Valentine himself was the author. During the reign of the Roman emperor Claudius II Gothicus, Valentine was a priest in Rome. By some sources, besides spreading the word of God, he helped sick people to get better as he was also a skillful and respected physician. What made Valentine become St. Valentine and leave a famous love holiday as his legacy was the politic of the emperor who wanted to wage wars.
Make Wars Not Love – Claudius’s Quote
Claudius Gothicus ruled from 268-270 A.D. Due to his physical abilities and brutality as well as bravery performed on the battlefields, soldiers have respected him. There are even some myths that emerged from his strength. By some sources, Claudius was able to knock out the horse’s teeth with a single punch. When he came to the throne, the Roman empire had been facing multiple serious incursion threats. Goths posed the biggest danger. Claudius needed a strong army, and that required a fighting capable man. However, during those times a family life was trending. More and more men wanted to get married and form families rather than to go to wars. Since this kind of decision taking place on a global scale was seriously jeopardizing the mere existence of the Roman empire, Claudius decided to force some very radical measures. He made marriages illegal.
Valentine’s Forbidden Marriages
Valentine, who was at the time a priest in Rome, kindhearted and pure fated as he was, couldn’t let himself to just stand aside and witness as love is being crushed. He decided to perform marriage ceremonies in secrecy. With time, word of a priest marrying young couples spread wide which led to his discovery. Going against the words of the emperor was an offense of the highest rank. At those times, punishments were very severe. Before receiving his final sentence, Valentine was thrown to dungeons. It was there, in the prison cell, that the first letter was written.
First Valentine’s Letter Ever Written – Blood Ink
According to some sources, a jailor that observed convicts had a beautiful young daughter who came to visit him on a daily basis. She was a good Christian soul known for insisting on repentance as a road to salvation which is available as long as there is breath in lounges. It is how the young lady met Valentine. Two of them had nice talks and got close. They planned to spend the priest’s last hours together before the guards come to bring Valentine to the court. However, soldiers came early in the morning way in front of the schedule. Hearing rough voices overlapping with blunt footsteps of the incoming guards, Valentine quickly took a piece of paper and scribbled a sentence “From Your Valentine.” Different sources suggest that the first Valentine’s letter was written with the saint’s blood on a ripped part of his toggery. There was no paper, pens or ink in dungeons which meant that Valentine had to improvise. It is very likely that he took a sharp piece of stone, made a cut on the top of his forefinger and starter drawing lines over his toggery. He cut the piece of clothing where the message was written and threw it on the floor of his cell for Jailor’s daughter to find it. However, there are those believing that he wrote a message in the dirt before he was dragged out.
Punishment – Clubbing to Death
Valentine was beaten to death. After crushing his body, they beheaded him and left lying in a pool of blood. It was a warning to all who thought of disobeying the emperor.
First Documented Valentine’s Letter
While previous rows told us the tale of the first Valentine’s letter, there aren’t many pieces of evidence to make the story trustworthy which is why, to some degree, it is considered for a myth. Charles, the Duke of Orleans is the one taking credit when it comes to pioneering in love messages. In 1415, while being held as a prisoner, the duke wrote dozens of love verses for his wife.