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      here are varying opinions as to the origin of Valentine's Day, which contains vestiges of both Christian and ancient Roman tradition. One legend states that Saint Valentine, or Valentinus, was a Roman who was martyred for refusing to give up Christianity. He died on February 14, 269 A.D., the same day that had been devoted to love lotteries. Legend says that Saint Valentine left a farewell note for the jailer's daughter, who had become his friend, and signed it, "From Your Valentine."

Another legend states that Saint Valentine served as a temple priest, during the third century in Rome. When Emperor Claudius II decided that single men made better soldiers than those with wives and families, he outlawed marriage for young men. Valentine, realizing the injustice of the decree, defied Claudius and continued to perform marriages for young lovers in secret. When his actions were discovered, Claudius ordered him put to death. In around 496 A.D., Pope Gelasius set aside February 14, to honor Saint Valentine. By the Middle Ages, Saint Valentine, who was known as a sympathetic, heroic, and romantic figure, became one of the most popular saints in England and France.

Gradually, February 14 became the annual day for exchanging messages of endearment and Saint Valentine became the patron saint of lovers.

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