Love has a story – Saint Valentine | chapter 9

by Craig on February 13, 2013



August 269 AD

I have been here in Rome for two months. The rose petals that once daily adorned the bars to my cage have ceased. Have I been forgotten?

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


Meals are sparse, but sufficient…bread and water.

It seems I am not here to be summarily executed but to be convinced to end my defiance of the Emperor’s ban on marriage. He, himself has visited me often. We talk of Our Lord, but he only feigns interest.

Last night he arrived just before dawn to offer me dispensation to continue to marry in Interamna…


I promise to keep it spreading from there – and me.


I no longer marry in the name of Christ, but also other Gods.

A hundred offers of freedom…
but not one without conditions.

He says, “We are men of intellect, surely we can reach agreement.” But there is no love in this man, only dark ambition. He will squash love from the Empire. What allegiance can I have with Satan and still ally with God?


September 269 AD

Three months now and the air has a distinct Autumn chill. I am deprived more and more of food. Claudius has long since abandoned trying to convince me to cease marrying people in the name of Christ.

Now he sends his court daily to have me stop believing in the One True God. They debate me on patience and kindness and forgiveness. It is relentless, through all hours of the day and night.

I once longed for a visitor…
now I loathe the thought of speech.

I am forgetting much of how to give reason for that which I believe.

Faith is difficult.
Hope is vanishing.

Still…one visitor I do not despise.
She comes in the still dark of night…
confident footsteps but bearing no torch.

Each time there is whispered conversation…
the rattle of swords…the scuffle of boots as the guards exit…
and they carry their torches with them…and with their torches, so all light.

The door opens in the darkness…
and there is meat to go with the bread…and wine.
I can barely see shadow and form because of the near pitch dark.

She is respite from the constant drumbeat of the vile.
She is gentle, kind, and is the only one who does not deny me my faith.

And soon she leaves…
no light to guide her steps…
still she does not stumble or fall.

She promises to return.

She is not imagination…
for the food is real enough.

But I wonder…
is she woman…
or is she angel?


There is more…

to the story of Saint Valentine.

I had hoped to finish it by Valentine’s day – but I’ll miss that goal by a few days.

Please come back.

{ 2 comments… read them below or add one }

nancy February 19, 2013 at 7:57 pm

Craig, waiting for more. . . missing you.


Mizliz Liz June 20, 2013 at 12:43 pm

Still searching for you. Need your words of God’s love. Praying for you. Still.


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