Legend states that Valentine aided the Christian martyrs during the Claudian persecution. Claudius issued a decree forbidding marriage. Valentine defied this decree and urged young lovers to come to him in secret so that he could join them in the sacrament of matrimony. Eventually he was discovered and condemned to death. While in prison, Valentine was tended by the jailer, Asterius, and his blind daughter. Legend has it that he also miraculously restored the sight of the jailer’s daughter. The night before his execution, the priest wrote a farewell message to the girl and signed it affectionately “From Your Valentine,” a phrase that lives on even to today. The valentine has become the universal symbol of friendship and affection shared each anniversary of the priest’s execution – St. Valentine’s Day. Valentine has also become the patron of engaged couples.