Love is held prisoner…the story of Valentine (pt8)

by Craig on February 8, 2012

August 269 AD

At first I was imprisoned with others. What’s a priest to do in prison but to speak the Word of God. But since then Claudius has decided I am not to be heard. I am transported to another place, a darker one, and one with no one else.

The story of Valentine, the bishop of Interamna, continues…
This is part 8, 7 is here, part 6 is here, 5 is here, 4 here, part 3 is here, and 2 hereand it began here.

For seven days I speak with no one.
There is no food.

The only water is that which dribbles from the cracks in the wall.

I pray.
I think.

I see time pass through the bars as the light changes and shadows move.

I know the shift changes of the guards.
Although they do not speak anything of value…
I value the sound of a human voice.

But I am alone.
I am weak.

Is it here that I will die?

On the eighth day there is sudden movement and a cessation of speech…
clanging of metal, and guards rising quickly to their feet.
Then, the sound of more men gathering.

Then silence.

The iron door creaks open.

In he walks…
golden armor…
covering his knee length white robe…
his red cape reaching the floor…
sword in its sheath…
scepter in his hand.

It is the man who would outlaw love…
who would outlaw God…
who would end marriage…
who would end me.

I do not rise to my feet until Claudius raises his hand.

Four soldiers rush to my side…
lifting me off the ground…
throwing me at the feet of the emperor like a sack of stones…
raising me to my feet, before forcing me to my knees.

“I can use a man like you.” he begins.

“The people admire you. How does it matter which god you serve? You can be free today Valentine, and I’ll even add your crucified god to my mantel if you just add mine.”

He waits for an answer, sure he has convinced me.

“There is only One God.
Our Lord Jesus…
Our Messiah who has set the world free of sin.”

His heart is cold….

but with no interest in truth.

Still he lets me continue.

“God is one. God is truth. God is light. God…is love.”

But it is here that he ends things.

“I shall stamp out your love Valentine! You will no longer defy me. Join me or remain here.”

“Then here I stay.”

With that he turns like a child told he cannot play outside.
His robe swirls and I am kicked to the ground.

The door is slammed shut.

I look up to pray

It is only then I notice the prison bars are no longer stark and bare.

The rose petals speak…
though without voice…
they tell me there is love…
even in Rome…
even in this cell.


There is more to this story of Valentine, Bishop of Interamna, which will conclude on Valentine’s day.

Please come back.

linking today with Ann

{ 3 comments… read them below or add one }

Lisa Maria February 9, 2012 at 5:17 am

What a lovely surprise! I’m glad you had the time to write this Craig… it is truly inspired and inspiring. I wonder if we have it in us to lay down our lives like that. Well, in a sense its what we do when we put love first, casting aside ‘self’ for the better of others. As a wise old priest once said “To love is Divine…we cannot do it without God” I’ve never forgotten that…its God who gives us the courage to love, give, forgive.

Looking forward to the rest!


Craig February 13, 2012 at 2:57 pm

Lisa Maria, Kreg haz bin havingz uf nemownya – haz bin veree sik, lyk wen hartz flee dropz wuz meen tu mee – I m heer to hav tellingz uv wy he duz not rite u bak – he iz having uv soreez – he wil rite bak next tym u rite tu him.
Luv, laska the luv kitee


Caddo Veil February 11, 2012 at 10:07 pm

Wonderful, Craig!


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