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Saint Valentine's Massacre

The words love and tragedy seem to have been stuck together in a vicious cycle that keeps repeating itself. It was out of love that God carved out Adam with his own hands, and it was tragic that Adam defied just one thing God asked him to do - staying away from the forbidden apple. It was tragic because, one person's sin took over the whole mankind, and it was the love of a single person (Jesus sacrificing himself on the cross) which freed the whole mankind out of sin. Even the literary geniuses of Shakespeare couldn't hold back his urge for a tragic end in most of his acclaimed writings like Romeo and Juliet, Macbeth, and Othello. And the love that we celebrate on every 14th February too has a tragedy, as its origin takes us centuries back to an era when one man decided to stand against the cruelties of a barbaric Rome. This man was Saint Valentine.

Although, it is difficult to trace back the origins of this day in its true form, as the information that has been passed out through generations seem to have formed many theories but a tragic end has been mentioned in all of them, involving Saint Valentine. One legend has it that Valentine was a bishop in Rome under the reign of Emperor Claudius II. At that time Rome was on a decline and was having a hard time surviving attacks from Northern Europe and Asia. Naturally it required strong men to be put into army, which is why Claudius gave orders asking men to stay unmarried and not have any marital or family ties as he believed it would make them weak. Bishop Valentine found it unfair to stop anyone from having a family and started marrying couples in secret. When Claudius came to know of this, Valentine was put into prison and was announced a death sentence on him.

It is believed that during his stay in prison he made friends with the jailor's daughter and the two became quite emotionally attached and fell in love. Just before his execution, Valentine left a note for her saying "From Your Valentine", hence the beginning of the still famous saying. Another legend has it that after Valentine was caught marrying couples in secret; Claudius tried but failed to convert him from Christianity to paganism. In return, Bishop Valentine tried to convert Claudius from being a pagan to being a Christian. This act angered Claudius even more and Bishop Valentine was stoned and beheaded right and then. Whatever the version may be, it is still held true that he gave his life to embark a new beginning for love. It's the love that we know today, a love free of bondage.