By Bill Federer
There were ten major persecutions of Christians in the first three centuries in which many historical records were destroyed, but the legend passed down in Legenda Sanctorum by Jacobus de Voragine, 1260, was that Saint Valentine was a priest or bishop in Italy.
When the Emperor demanded the Church violate its conscience and worship pagan idols, Bishop Valentine refused to comply.
Valentine risked the Emperor’s wrath by standing up for traditional marriage and secretly marrying young men and women.
Saint Valentine was arrested, dragged before the Prefect of Rome, who condemned him to be beaten to death with clubs and then have his head cut off on FEBRUARY 14, 269AD.
While awaiting execution, the story is he prayed for the jailers’ sick daughter, who miraculously recovered.
He wrote her a note and signed it, “from your Valentine.”
In 496 AD, Pope Gelasius designated FEBRUARY 14th as “Saint Valentine’s Day.”
The Greek name for Christ, Χριστός begins with the letter “Chi” written as an “X,” and became an abbreviation for the name of Christ.
In Medieval times, the “X” was called the Christ’s Cross, or as it was later pronounced, “Criss-Cross.”
The Christ’s Cross was a form of a written oath.
Similar to the ancient practice of swearing upon a Bible, saying “so help me God,” then kissing the Bible, people would sign a document next to the Christ’s Cross to swear before God they would keep the agreement, then kissed it to show sincerity.
This practice has come down to us as “sign at the X”, or “crossing one’s heart.”
This is the origin of signing a Valentines’ card with an “X” to express a pledge before God to be faithful, and an “O” to seal the pledge with a kiss of sincerity.
My passion for protecting and preserving freedom is a gift that comes to me from my grandfather, an immigrant who brought my father to this country and whose well-weathered hands mined coal in Southwestern Pennsylvania until he was 72. He left the totalitarian regime of Mussolini‘s Italy to bring his family to freedom.
He worked hard and committed himself to creating a better life for his children and grandchildren. He taught me how to treasure the gift of freedom, to have faith in God’s grace, to achieve what American liberty offers to those who work hard and to love and support a family. The Pennsylvania town my grandfather called home is just a few miles down the road from the field where Flight 93 crashed on that beautiful, blue-sky September day; a day when radical jihadists declared war on America, in America, on our own soil. The passengers and crew bravely stood up for freedom. Read the rest at Real Clear World…..