Another famous legend on Saint Valentine states Valentine was an early Christian in Rome who was very popular amongst children. But during the time when Valentine lived, Roman regime was not in favour of Christianity and it even persecuted Christians to make Rome free of the followers of Christianity. In spite of this strict law, Valentine continued to practice his faith and refused to worship Roman Gods. This enraged Emperor Claudius II and he put Valentine into prison.
Valentine is said to have spent a year in rigorous imprisonment during which he was missed a lot by children. They began to toss loving notes and flowers between the bars of his cell window. To an extent, this legend may explain the tradition of exchanging notes and flowers on Valentine’s Day.
Some scholars believe that during his stay in prison Valentine made friends with jailer’s blind daughter who at times brought to him notes and flowers from children. Whenever, possible Valentine also replied to the notes. Days before his execution, Valentine prayed for the jailer’s daughter and she regained her sight. Before his death, Valentine is also said to have written a farewell note for the jailer’s daughter and signed it “From Your Valentine”. This expression is popular even till date.
Some scholars believe that Valentine was killed because he tried to help Christians escape from the Roman prison as they were being tortured and beaten. Yet another set of scholars say Emperor Claudius II was impressed by Valentine’s kindness and good behavior. He even stated that Valentine could be freed if he agreed to worship Roman Gods. Valentine not just refused he even tried to convert Emperor to Christianity. This made Claudius very angry and he ordered his execution. Valentine was beheaded on February 14.