Love has a story – Saint Valentine | chapter 6

by Craig on February 10, 2013

I’d wondered what my response would be when the Roman soldiers eventually came.

Would I hide?

Would I pray for them to be blinded…
and send them the in the wrong direction…

like Elisha the prophet.

But there is only one way.

The story of Saint Valentine, which began here, continues.

While the horses are still jostling…
and the men surrounding the house…

I open the door.

The bride and groom are still on the roof.
Any movement at all would endanger them.

I cannot have that.

There is only one soldier still mounted on his horse. This Centurion tosses his red cape to the side, revealing his sword, and resting his hand on the hilt, taps it lightly.

“Valentine,” he says in calm monotone, “You will come with us.”

“You know my name.” I reply, “I do not know yours.”

“This is all you need to know.” The words are stiff and practiced.
He removes his free hand from the reins, and then pulled out a scroll…

…unrolling it he reads:

Against the decree of the glorious Emperor of the world, Claudius II, you, Valentine of Interamna, have illegally married thousands. You are hereby to be arrested. Your subversive and illegal activity shall cease. You shall be herewith transported to Rome where you will face the punishment for your crime against the Empire.

As he reads I notice a young soldier…
soft eyes peering from under his helmet…
they lead my vision down to the ground.

With the tip of his blade he draws in the dirt.

This first…

then this…

A knowing nod from him and I remember. The name of the commander I did not know. This one’s name I did. It was only weeks ago that Italus and Alena had come to me by night to be married.

Now, emboldened by the presence of a friend, I speak up.

“It has been a long ride. Your horses are tired. With you to Rome I shall go. But come first, breakfast is made. Share it with me, and your horses can rest for the journey back to Rome.”

“The horses are fine.” He replies, head high and proud.

“Their coats are wet.
Their noses are down.
Their eyes are half shut.
It is breakfast, not subterfuge.”

Young Italus moves forward and speaks quietly with the Centurion. With a wave of his hand, the soldiers advance toward me. But with another wave they retreat.

Dismounting his horse he speaks again…

“I am Marcelus Marius – and breakfast it is. But just that. We have our orders.”

Between bites of meat and bread I have the chance to tell them of Jesus, and the Centurion present at the foot of the Cross. But Marcelus was clearly uneasy, so I did not keep him for long.

Rising from the table I extend my hands forward to be bound.

“You do not plan to escape, do you priest?”

“No, I do not.”

“Then perhaps there is no need to…” I interrupt his words with…
“You are a man subject to authority, Marcelus, as am I. I understand.”

With that he relents…

…and my hands are bound.

There will be no more marriages in Interamna.


There is more…

to this story of Saint Valentine

Please come back.

and if you enjoyed this at all…
or if you think others might like it…
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{ 1 comment… read it below or add one }

Martha Orlando February 11, 2013 at 5:30 pm

I’m loving this story of St. Valentine! Will be following, Craig!
Blessings to you always, my friend!


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