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Valentine's Day

            Valentine's Day is a day of love, romance, and of course, the market place. Lovers across the United States buy roses for their sweethearts. Marriage ceremonies are popular and roses are a pricey gift on Valentine's Day because of St. Valentine's life and death.
             The cause of Valentine's Day started with a priest named Valentine who lived in Rome during the third century. At that time, Rome was ruled by an emperor named Claudius. Valentine didn't like Emperor Claudius II. Claudius wanted to have a big army and he expected men to volunteer to join. Many men just did not want to fight in wars. They did not want to leave their wives and families, hence, not many men signed up. This made Claudius furious which led him to a crazy idea. He thought that if men were not married, they would not mind joining the army. Claudius then decided not to allow any more marriages. Young people thought his new law was cruel and preposterous! Being a priest, his job was to marry couples. Even after Emperor Claudius II passed his law, Valentine kept on performing marriage ceremonies - secretly. Valentine would lead the couple into a small candlelit room. They would whisper the words of the ceremony, listening all the while for the steps of soldiers. His time was over when he was caught. Valentine was thrown into jail and told that his punishment was death.
             Consequently, many young people came to the jail to visit Valentine. They threw flowers and notes up to his window. History says the men and women wanted Valentine to know that they, too, believed in love. One young lady that visited him was the daughter of the prison guard. She helped Valentine to keep his spirits up. She agreed that Valentine did the right thing by ignoring the Emperor and going ahead with the secret marriages. One day he left his female friend a note thanking her for her friendship and loyalty. Valentine signed it, "Love from your Valentine.

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