"The legend of St. Valentine goes back to the early days of Christianity when Christians were being persecuted by the Romans. One Christian, Valentinus, was tried as a heretic and sentenced to death. In prison, Valentinus befriended a guard who respected his wisdom, and soon the guard brought his seven-year-old blind daughter Julia, to Valentinus for lessons. Daily, the two talked of important things, and Julia developed a deep love and respect for her mentor. One day Julia asked him, “Valentinus, do you think I will ever be able to see?”
Valentinus thought for a moment and answered, “With love in your heart and belief in God, anything is possible, Julia.”
At that moment, Julia was overtaken with a flash of light, and suddenly her eyesight was restored. “Valentinus, I can see!” the child shouted.
“Praise be to God,” he humbly answered.
The next day when Julia came to visit Valentinus, he was gone. He had been taken to his execution. Julia found this note:
My Dear Julia,
Although we shall never see each other again, know that I will always love you. You are very dear to me. I will stay unseen by your side, and I will live in your heart. I believe in you.
What a wonderful surprise to discover that the legend of St. Valentine is not limited to romantic love. It's a clear example that love given in the form of kindness has a tremendous effect upon the lives of others. Every time we perform a kind act, even as gentle as a smile, we set off an chain reaction for good that travels from one to another. This ripple effect will make it's way, and be felt, around the globe. Valentine's Day gives all of us the opportunity to share our kindness freely, without embarrassment. Whenever we greet others with a smile and a “Happy Valentine's Day!” we’re contributing to a better world. Now that’s amore!
According to Our Lady of Rosary Library: "Valentinus’ sentence was carried out on, February 14, 270 A.D., near a gate that was later named Porta Valentini in his memory. He was buried at what is now the Church of Praxedes in Rome. It is said that Julia planted a pink-blossomed almond tree near his grave. Today, the almond tree remains a symbol of abiding love and friendship. On each February 14, Saint Valentine's Day, messages of affection and love are exchanged around the world."
“Your smile is your logo, your personality is you business card, how you leave others feeling after having an experience with you becomes your trademark.” –Unknown
Darrell Fusaro is the author of What If Godzilla Just Wanted a Hug? and co-host of the Funniest Thing! with Darrell and Ed podcast