Myth, legend or saint? I am not sure but the story is an example we can emulate and adopt - especially during the times in which we live.
Happy Belated St. Valentines Day! Are you familiar with the backstory of the "Love Holiday"?
Valentine was a citizen of Ancient Rome during the reign of "cruel Claudius II" who decreed worship of anything other than his 12 designated deities an offense - Valentine, a bishop, regularly held Christian worship services. Military recruitment was flagging (most likely to a heavy schedule of war); to fix this, Claudius decreed soldiers were not to marry and were to sever any current engagements. Valentine did not cease to officiate weddings; performing marriages in secret ceremonies. He freed jailed Believers and was a Christian voice and viewpoint to the local government officials. There are reports of epileptics being healed, delivered, and made whole by his hand. Eventually jailed for these "crimes" he makes friends with the jailers daughter, Julia. The story goes that Julia, blind from birth, received her sight after Valentine prayed for her - and the entire household came to Christianity. On the eve of his death he composed a letter to her, encouraging her in her newfound faith, and signed it "From Your Valentine." He was tortured, beaten and beheaded on February 14, 269. He was eventually canonized by the Catholic Church in the 12th Century.
What is real? What is myth? What is legend? I am not sure - but standing for Christ, doing what is right, real, and authentic when culture and society pushes something else is nothing new. Valentine is known for love, Claudius for cruelty. I know how I would like to be remembered, what legacy I want to leave, what mark I want to make...I want it to be on the side of love.