So, according to legend, Father Valentine, a priest back when Rome was still feeding Christians to lions, defied Emperor Claudius II.
The Emperor (likely single himself and surviving on a diet wholly of sour grapes) forbid his soldiers to marry, believing that, as married men, soldiers would be less inclined to rape and pillage.
Quite right, as I can’t picture any man choosing death and dismemberment over sex and home cooking.
Valentine ignored the Emperor’s decree and secretly married the young couples.
Not-so-secretly as it turns out.
Poor bastard was eventually arrested, imprisoned, and, on February 14th, beheaded.
Naturally, we remember his sacrifice with Bears Holding Hearts and chocolate fondue.