This story of St. Valentine is my adaptation. It is my own interpretation in the form of a poem. This is one of my former school childrens' favorites during Valentine's Day, presented as a speech choir.
Here it goes :
The Story of St. Valentine
( as Interpreted in a Poem by Lita C. Malicdem)
( as Interpreted in a Poem by Lita C. Malicdem)
It was many and many years ago, in a kingdom by the sea,
There lived a king and a holy man, who made their names in history.
The Emperor was Claudius, the Second, who ruled in ancient Rome.
It was the third of century A.D., that Fate destined this tragedy.
The other was a holy man, a Christian priest was he,
His name was Father Valentine, a good man as he was friendly.
At first they didn't know each other, they lived their different lives,
Although they were on the same land, they never met, all right.
The king had lived luxuriously, in his kingdom by the sea.
With the strongest soldiers to protect him, against the invasion of his enemy.
The other was an ordinary priest, who had lived so very simply.
He read and taught the Book of life, that made his simple life holy.
The king was like any other king, who always thought of power.
He used his soldiers to conquer lands, and became a well-known master.
Many a battle his soldiers fought, they always won him honor.
For a battle won, one land conquered, the king was a greedy settler.
"I'm the King," said he, " In this kingdom by the sea,
Soon my men will conquer the world, then I'll be the Lord, you'll see".
His minister eyed at him sadly, "I'm afraid you won't", quoth he.
"Foolish minister, what did you say?, I own the world, can't you see?"
"Hear ye my Lord and please be calm,
We lost many soldiers in the battleground,
They were the kind we seldom find,
We've lost them all and we're now left behind."
It was their very first defeat, and the king couldn't believe it,
When at last he gathered his wits, "Go, send more men", he said with hate.
Away they went but never did better, the more battles fought,
Their loss became even greater.
Then one day, the whole kingdom heard, "Hear ye, hear ye, the king so ordered
That those of age 18 and higher, the king tells them to register.
Every youth in the kingdom obeyed, for if they didn't, they would be killed.
All the men's wives and children pleaded, but the pleas were never heard.
The king continued to train more men, but their defeat was like an omen.
Their defeat when later found, the soldiers refused to fight for their land.
They were husbands with families, who fought less in the wilderness.
They ran, they hid, they cowered in fear, they did so out of weariness.
The young ones were less aggressive too, for they have loved ones to return to.
"If this would always be so, then my Lord, what shall we do?"
"My minister, how wise of you, to tell me of what they do.
Send the crier from town to town, I ban marriage in this whole kingdom".
All the king's men and all the king's women, all shook theirs heads,
Those who disobeyed were grabbed and jailed,
Many who secretly asked to be married,
Were severely punished or mercilessly killed,
The kind priest whose ways were holy, comforted the people in his pity,
He defied the king and continued to wed, the couples in his own stead.
The king is wrong, he sadly prayed, " this is not what our God has said"
He lightened many hearts, in this dark world, unmindful of the deadly sword.
But the king and the man, were destined to meet, so a soldier revealed the secret.
That brought the king into a a furious feat, he sent for the man he wanted to meet.
"Find this man, and bring him to me, 'Cause I'm the king in this kingdom by the sea"
All the king's men looked far and wide, and brought the man near by his side.
"You didn't obey my very law, now you must suffer the biggest blow,
You will stay in the darkest room, no food, no friend, until you humbly show.
Saint Valentine was therefore jailed, but still he didn't heed,
Many came to bring him food, flowers, and everything, indeed.
All done in great secrecy, he lived at least a life so holy.
He never complained, he had to suffer, he fell in love to his jailer's daughter.
Yes, this man like any other, possessed love that shone forever.
His happiness he carried through, he loved his wife, as a secret lover.
Though his life in seclusion held, he continued to defy his cruel master.
But then as Fate destined it though, the secret tryst was blown up through.
The king said in fiery words, "I'm the king, he must obey.
To defy my order it means so simply, he signed his death in this kingdom by the sea".
Soon the fateful day came, and the poor man in town was shown.
All men and women with their hearts bleeding, there was him not even pleading.
Tied up for all to see, " Your man with a lying heart, must die you see,
All you who conspired with him, be careful about your next scheme."
It was February 14 when death he embraced, his public execution was done with ease.
His grieving wife torn and crushed, all the people helpless, angry, but hushed.
The day after his sad end, the wife discovered a card with this emblem,
"From your Valentine", it said, and from that day, a celebration was held.
This story was known far and wide, it went round and round when he finally died.
That love knows no fear and never dies, it spreads like wild, in all kingdom of Christ.
It was many and many years ago, in this kingdom by the sea,
There lived a king and a holy man, who created "Valentine's Day".
This is my humble story which I enjoyed with my former pupils as a piece for a speech choir. It will stay forever, my memoir, a reminder, that love prevails even in the harshest test of time, like Valentine's. HAPPY VALENTINE's DAY!