It is also said that the emperor tried to convert Valentine to the Roman gods but was unsuccesful in his efforts.Valentine refused to recognize Roman Gods and even attempted to convert the emperor, knowing the consequences fully.But the rise of Christianity in Europe saw many pagan holidays being renamed for and dedicated to the early Christian martyrs. In 496 AD, Pope Gelasius turned Lupercalia into a Christian feast day and set its observance a day earlier, on February 14. According to the Catholic Encyclopedia, there were at least three early Christian saints by the name of Valentine. Surprisingly, all three of them were said to have been martyred on 14th February.He proclaimed February 14 to be the feast day in honor of Saint Valentine, a Roman martyr who lived in the 3rd century. While one was a priest in Rome, another was a bishop in Terni. It is clear that Pope Gelasius intended to honor the first of these three aforementioned men. Valentine was a priest who lived around 270 AD in Rome and attracted the disfavor of Roman emperor Claudius II who ruled during this time. Valentine has two different versions - the Protestant and the Catholic one.There hardly seems to be a young man or woman who is not keen to make the most of the day.
As per one legend, the holiday has originated from the ancient Roman festival of Lupercalis/Lupercalia, a fertility celebration that used to observed annually on February 15.He planned to counter the monarch's orders in secrecy.Whenever lovers thought of marrying, they went to Valentine who met them afterwards in a secret place, and joined them in the sacrament of matrimony.And thus he secretly performed many marriages for young lovers. It was only a matter of time before Claudius came to know of this "friend of lovers," and had him arrested.While awaiting his sentence in prison, Valentine was approached by his jailor, Asterius.This angered Claudius II who gave the order of execution of Valentine.Meanwhile, a deep friendship had been formed between Valentine and Asterius' daughter.Both versions agree upon Saint Valentine being a bishop who held secret marriage ceremonies of soldiers in opposition to Claudius II who had prohibited marriage for young men and was executed by the latter.During the lifetime of Valentine, the golden era of Roman empire had almost come to an end.The ban on marriage was a great shock for the Romans.But they dared not voice their protest against the mighty emperor.