Via the popular hagiographical identity and what is believed to be the first representation of San Valentino (the Nuremberg Chronicle), we know Valentino was a Roman priest martyred during Emperor Claudius Gothicus' reign. According to the story, San Valentino was imprisoned for marrying Christian couples and rescuing Christians being persecuted by Claudius in Rome. Some depictions have Valentino secretly marrying couples so husbands didn't have to deploy to war, while others portray him refusing to sacrifice to pagan gods, and another recounts a miraculous healing of the jailer or judge's blind daughter. A relationship between the saint and emperor flourished from jail, until Valentino invited Claudius to consider Christianity. An enraged Claudius sentenced Valentino to death. As we know, the holy priest refused to renounce his love for Christ, and was executed outside the Flaminian Gate on February 14, and while the exact year is in question, most accounts attest on or around the year 269.
Legend has it, San Valentino left the healed daughter a note from his jail cell, with the signature, "Your Valentine".
This Valentine's Day, share your heart with those you love with a sincere "I Love You" sent in whispered prayers to heaven from heart to heart.