Love – The Lost Journals of St. Valentine (the end)

by Craig on February 14, 2011

And now the last entries of the Lost Journals of St. Valentine…

Saint Valentine history, valentine history, and St. valentine story

(part one is here, two is here, three here, and four here . You will  the whole story)

January 14, 270 A.D.

Today I am dragged out of my cell. My eyes opened but were blinded by sunlight they haven’t seen for nearly a year. I am thrown to the ground. There is rustling, and a mob, and something hits me in the side.

A rock.

Then another, then one more. I block them with my hands until one lands on my forehead. I am dazed. And in this moment of inability come all of the others, pounding my flesh and bone since I have no defense.

If this is to be the end so be it. Come Lord come.

I cease all movement – because I cannot move.

And finally the rocks cease as well.

Rubble surrounds and covers me.

They prod me – check my breathing.

They have failed.

My body is carried back to the cell. It no longer feels a part of me.

And this evening, as every evening, Asteria visits me again.

She fashions a pillow for my head.

She takes a strand of her hair and bows it around my finger

and another one for hers.

She takes a scarlet ribbon and wraps it around our wrists.

I understand, but cannot react. I try, but she shushes me, and I lay my head down again.

This night she remains by my side, on the icy floor,  until the dawn.

I wake from sleep before the rooster crows. One eye opens slightly. And for the first time I see the face of Asteria. It is the face I have known for months without once seeing. But I have seen her now.

It is both the first – and last time.

When I wake again, she is gone, but the ringlet of hair that she placed on my finger, and the ribbon, remain.

February 13, 270 AD

I can do nothing but pray now. There are no more visits. No one speaks to me. There is no more food. And only the water that pools on the floor, which I share with the rats. This must be the way it shall end.

I have the ribbon, and the ring. I have my faith. I have had fleeting happiness these many months. But this body will soon fail me.

February 14, 270 AD

The door bursts open. The first words I have heard in a month are those read from an imperial letter. “I have been gracious to you for nearly a year.  I have offered you a kingdom. You have denied this great chance but will not yield. There is but one thing left. Your head. Today is the day to die Valentine, and be remembered no more.”

I ask for a scribe because my hands cannot write – and I fear I may have forgotten how to write anyway.

The request is granted.

I ask him to write this and deliver it – swear him to secrecy. But how can I know the level of his sincerity?

Then he raises his hood.

“Do you not remember me?”  My name is Rufus. I have a bride by the name of Priscilla. The Empire is full of brides and husbands despite the decree.

He tells me of thousands who have descended upon Rome this day. Thousands united by an invisible bond of matrimony. I am to die. But I am not to die alone.  He swears loyalty to me and begins to write what I say.

My Asteria

I am leaving this earth.  A mansion awaits me, and one for you as well.

You have been food for my soul, and balm for my heart.

You have been sunlight in the absence of any beam from the sun.

You have been laughter, and joy, and love.

I go now to meet the sword. Today is the day I die  – but live.

My heart breaks, for I will not see your face again here.

But I will see you again.

Remember me…

and remember this…

I carry with me today

our ribbon

and our ring

and our love.

Until we meet again.

Your Valentine.

In God’s love.

{ 6 comments… read them below or add one }

Michelle February 14, 2011 at 4:08 am

I’m kinda glad my computer was out of action for a couple of days so that I could read the final three installments tonight.
Craig, you have such a beautiful way with words. The pictures you paint are amazingly poignant. Thank you.

Reply

Craig February 14, 2011 at 8:10 am

Thank you Michelle. I am really glad you enjoyed this. I hearted this a whole bunch. God Bless.

Reply

Debbie February 15, 2011 at 2:12 am

So beautiful Craig . . .and I think I missed some, so will go look. I will never think of Valentine’s day the same way again. :) God bless you and your time in His hands!

Reply

Craig February 15, 2011 at 9:46 am

It IS a beautiful story – it makes St. Valentine’s day a whole new thing. You will love the story. I know I loved writing it. God Bless you Deb.

Reply

Anonymuss February 15, 2011 at 11:14 am

Craig, I was thinking the same thing: I will never view Valentine’s Day as I used to-a sort of cute little holiday. It involves such serious sacrifice and deep love!!!! Thank you so much for writing this!! I treasure it!

Reply

Craig February 15, 2011 at 11:33 am

A. I treasure this too. There was a St. Valentine. There was real love. It wasn’t invented by Hallmark.

God Bless.

Reply

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