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Valentine

Valentine's Day, also called Saint Valentine's Day originated as a Western Christian feast day honoring one or two early saints named Valentinus. The Valentines honored on February 14 are Valentine of Rome (Valentinus presb. m. Romae) and Valentine of Terni (Valentinus ep. Interamnensis m. Romae). Valentine of Rome was a priest in Rome who was martyred in 269 and was added to the calendar of saints by Pope Gelasius I in 496 and was buried on the Via Flaminia.

Some authors link St. Valentine's Day and the rites of the ancient Roman festival Lupercalia. In Ancient Rome, Lupercalia, observed February 13–15, was an archaic rite connected to fertility. Pope Gelasius I (492–496) abolished Lupercalia.

The Feast of Saint Valentine was established by Pope Gelasius I in AD 496 to be celebrated on February 14 in honor of Saint Valentine of Rome, who died on that date in AD 269. From the High Middle Ages, his Saints' Day has been associated with a tradition of courtly love. He is also a patron saint of epilepsy.

The earliest description of February 14 as an annual celebration of love appears in the Charter of the Court of Love. The charter, allegedly issued by Charles VI of France at Mantes-la-Jolie in 1400, describes lavish festivities to be attended by several members of the royal court, including a feast, amorous song and poetry competitions, jousting, and dancing. Amid these festivities, the attending ladies would hear and rule on disputes from lovers. No other record of the court exists, and none of those named in the charter were present at Mantes except Charles's queen, Isabeau of Bavaria, who may well have imagined it all while waiting out a plague.

The day became associated with romantic love within the circle of Geoffrey Chaucer in the 14th century when the notions of courtly love flourished. In 18th-century England, it grew into an occasion in which couples expressed their love for each other by presenting flowers, offering confectionery, and sending greeting cards (known as "valentines"). Valentine's Day symbols that are used today include the heart-shaped outline, doves, and the figure of the winged Cupid. Since the 19th century, handwritten valentines have given way to mass-produced greeting cards.[8] In Europe, Saint Valentine's Keys are given to lovers "as a romantic symbol and an invitation to unlock the giver's heart", as well as to children to ward off epilepsy (called Saint Valentine's Malady).

Saint Valentine's Day is an official feast day in the Anglican and the Lutheran Churches, however, the celebration has become marginalized by the modern Anglo-American customs connecting the day with romantic love.
Boxed Valentine's Day Card
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119 Media in collectionpage 1 of 2
Duke of True Love and companions from BL Harley 4431, f. 145

Duke of True Love and companions from BL Harley 4431, f. 145

Detail of a miniature of the Duke of True Love and his companions entertaining ladies in a garden, in 'Le Duc des vrais amants'. Image taken from f. 145 of Various works (also known as 'The Book of the Queen'),... more

Lover and lady from BL Harley 4431, f. 376

Lover and lady from BL Harley 4431, f. 376

Detail of a miniature of the lover telling of his love to his lady in a garden. Image taken from f. 376 of Various works (also known as 'The Book of the Queen'), including 'Cent balades' (ff. 4-21), 'Le Débat d... more

Captain's Love Letter

Captain's Love Letter

Abraham Bosse (French, Tours 1602/1604–1676 Paris)

A Reconstruction of a View of the Obelisk at the Entrance of the Via Flaminia

A Reconstruction of a View of the Obelisk at the Entrance of the Via F...

Jan Goeree (Dutch, Middelburg 1670–1731 Amsterdam)

Tempio di Sant'Andrea, Via Flaminia

Tempio di Sant'Andrea, Via Flaminia

Jérôme Charles Bellicard (French, Paris 1726–1786 Paris)

Forever yours

Forever yours

Card like valentine is made of lace; oval center has layered stars with "Forever yours" centered within it. Interlibrary transfer; 1955 Nov. 22. Title devised by Library staff.

[To Margaret ]

[To Margaret ]

Card is a intricately designed lace paper valentine made to resemble a garden, fountain, trees, peacock, a mandolin player, and a young damsel with her attendant standing in a doorway in the background; inside ... more

Valentine
Valentine
Every body and his big grandmother are going to buy their valentines at cupid's original head quarters, J. Shillington's Odeon building, corner of 4.5 Street, and Pennsylvania Avenue ... [Washington, D. C.] Printed at the Cheap Job Printing offi

Every body and his big grandmother are going to buy their valentines a...

Valentine. Available also through the Library of Congress web site in two forms: as facsimile page images and as full text in SGML. Printed Ephemera Collection; Portfolio 200, Folder 19.

Love letter

Love letter

Print shows a young woman leaning over a balcony, handing an envelope to an unseen person. E7346 U.S. Copyright Office. Title from item. Publication date based on copyright statement on item. Copyright stamp wi... more

Valentines for Columbia and others

Valentines for Columbia and others

Title devised by cataloger. No accession number. This catalog record contains preliminary or unverified data from a project done in BRS software, ca. 1985. mm / 860224.

To my valentine. Love may come and love may go, ... M monogram

To my valentine. Love may come and love may go, ... M monogram

Print shows a young girl, full-length portrait, standing, facing slightly right, wearing a bonnet. On verso is a floral design with blossoms and a poem addressed "to my valentine" attributed to "E.S.F." N20945 ... more

I think of thee dear love of mine the best of all that's not divine

I think of thee dear love of mine the best of all that's not divine

Print shows a flower arrangement with verse. On the verso is a landscape scene showing a wishing-well [?] and the message "Ye Sainte Valentine's Daye." N20977 U.S. Copyright Office. Title from item. Caption con... more

To my valentine. By dandelion post I send this valentine to my friend illegible monogram

To my valentine. By dandelion post I send this valentine to my friend ...

Print shows a young girl blowing on a dandelion that has gone to seed. On verso is a hollyhocks stem with blossoms and the message "St. Valentine's Day." N20939 U.S. Copyright Office. Title from item. Caption c... more

Winsome ways and manners fine stole my heart, dear valentine

Winsome ways and manners fine stole my heart, dear valentine

Print shows a young girl, bust portrait, facing slightly left, in a frame fashioned out of branches on which birds are perched. On verso is a similar frame entwined with daisies, with message "St. Valentine's D... more

By love's own messengers I send my heart's best wishes to my little friend L.C

By love's own messengers I send my heart's best wishes to my little fr...

Print shows a young girl dressed as a messenger-boy carrying valentine cards against a backdrop of wild roses; on verso is a floral landscape scene with the message "A token for my love." O25065 U.S. Copyright ... more

Prang's Valentine cards

Prang's Valentine cards

Advertisement for Prang's greeting cards, showing a woman holding a group of tethered cherubs, who float like a bunch of balloons above her. One of the cherubs is portrayed as a baby of African descent. 25093 ... more

Souvenir of St. Valentine's Day

Souvenir of St. Valentine's Day

Print shows a young girl, full-length portrait, facing front, wearing a pink dress with large hat with flowers on top, and carrying a basket of flowers, in floral arch, with morning glory vines in the foregroun... more

Can you keep a secret? Wise bird, tell me true?

Can you keep a secret? Wise bird, tell me true?

Print shows Cupid sitting on a tree branch, speaking to an owl. P18186 U.S. Copyright Office. Title from item. Caption continues: I have half a notion to confide in you; / There's a certain maiden - listen! - d... more

With love, to my valentine

With love, to my valentine

Print shows a young girl, head-and-shoulders portrait, facing slightly left, framed by roses. P18160 U.S. Copyright Office. Title from item. Printed on lower left corner: No. 1145. Publication date based on cop... more

Must I confess? Aye, if I can, ..

Must I confess? Aye, if I can, ..

Print shows a young girl, full-length portrait, facing front, holding up a fan to shield her face from Cupid kneeling on a wall on the right, with a flowering tree in the background. P18185 U.S. Copyright Offic... more

Yours forever

Yours forever

Card shows green lace; in the center is a bouqet of flowers with a note and pencil laying upon it. Gift; Mrs. William L. Pringle; 1954 Aug. Title from item. Quotation inside card: "So strong's the flame of love... more

To my Valentine

To my Valentine

Card shows an angel paddling in a small boat called "Hearts Delight"; the sail has the inscription: "Pray Sweetheart, send me just a line to say you'll be my Valentine."

Puck's valentines for 1894 / F. Opper.

Puck's valentines for 1894 / F. Opper.

Print shows a vignette cartoon with, at center, Uncle Sam and President Cleveland shaking hands, a portrait of Liliuokalani, Queen of Hawaii, is in the background; the surrounding vignettes feature a cast of ch... more

Cupid's candidate / F. Opper.

Cupid's candidate / F. Opper.

Print shows former Benjamin Harrison holding a bouquet of flowers and with a floral garland around his neck, with which Cupid has lassoed him. Title from item. Illus. from Puck, v. 38, no. 988, (1896 February 1... more

McKinley's valentines from his expectant and hopeful fellow-citizens / F. Opper.

McKinley's valentines from his expectant and hopeful fellow-citizens /...

Print shows President McKinley standing at center holding a large cornucopia and emitting rays labeled "Prosperity", while around him are vignettes showing people from all walks of life, doctors, cabbies, club ... more

Uncle Sam's valentines / Keppler.

Uncle Sam's valentines / Keppler.

Illustration shows Uncle Sam sitting in a chair with three putti handing him valentine cards that state "Assistance and Sympathy during the Spanish-American War"; the cards have come from "England", "Germany", ... more

1904, a leap year valentine

1904, a leap year valentine

Postcard showing a man, woman, and cupid and the year 1904 written in gold numbers. Copyright 1904 by G. T. Channing. Title from item. Copyright registration records show claimant as George T. Channing, of Wash... more

Puck's valentines / J.S. Pughe.

Puck's valentines / J.S. Pughe.

Illustration shows at center a valentine card featuring President Theodore Roosevelt as cupid surrounded by other valentines featuring two European leaders (William II of Germany and Nicholas II of Russia), a p... more

Katrina's valentine

Katrina's valentine

Descriptive scene, with orchestra

Misdirected Valentines

Misdirected Valentines

Berryman Political Cartoon Collection

Shy / J.S. Pughe.

Shy / J.S. Pughe.

Illustration shows an old man labeled "St. Valentine" carrying a "U.S. Mail" letter pouch, delivering valentines to "Col. W.D. Mann", John A. "McCall", Henry H. "Rogers", John D. Rockefeller, Jr., John D. "Rock... more

Teddy's valentine / Frank A. Nankivell.

Teddy's valentine / Frank A. Nankivell.

Illustration shows a bust portrait over a heart of an African woman labeled "Miss Africa" on a valentines card that states "Will You Be My Valentine?", with two black putti. Title from item. Illus. in: Puck, v.... more

Saint Valentine number / Frank A. Nankivell.

Saint Valentine number / Frank A. Nankivell.

Illustration shows a young woman juggling hearts in celebration of Valentines Day. Title from item. Illus. in: Puck, v. 69, no. 1771 (1911 February 8), cover. Copyright 1911 by Keppler & Schwarzmann.

Jimmy Valentine

Jimmy Valentine

Male vocal quartet, with orchestra

To the seventh heaven / Gordon Ross.

To the seventh heaven / Gordon Ross.

Illustration shows a young man and a young woman riding in an airplane, the man has his arm around her waist; below them, angels trumpet a diamond-studded number "7". Title from item. Caption: A tour for St. Va... more

The narrowing target / Nelson Greene '14.

The narrowing target / Nelson Greene '14.

Illustration shows a woman standing against a wall with many arrows stuck around her; Cupid tells a man standing nearby that he is doing his best. Title from item. Caption: Cupid I'm doing the best I can, old ... more

To my valentine, if you'll be my partner I'll always be true and save the best dances for no one but you

To my valentine, if you'll be my partner I'll always be true and save ...

Card shows a little boy in a military uniform and a little girl dressed as a nurse dancing together. Title from item. The A. M. Davis Co., Boston.

He doesn't come to bite you, this little dog of mine, but simply to invite you to be my valentine

He doesn't come to bite you, this little dog of mine, but simply to in...

Card shows a little boy in a military uniform holding a leash with a dog that has a valentine in its mouth "Will you be mine?" Title from item. The A. M. Davis Co., Boston.

To my Valentine

To my Valentine

Card shows a man with a large quill pen and ink well writing on oversized paper. 509648 U.S. Copyright Office. Title from item. The A. M. Davis Co., Boston. Quotation on card: "All the paper in the country, all... more

A prayer and a kiss

A prayer and a kiss

509644 U.S. Copyright Office. Title from item. The A. M. Davis Co., Boston. Quotation on card: "On the magic wireless waves of love I'm sending a kiss and a prayer A prayer to the God of us both above, and a ... more

Artwork: "Highway Through Mountains Via Flaminia," Italy, 1943. Artist: Wilhelm Wessel. Catalog Number: G.P.1.8267.47. US Army Art Collection

Artwork: "Highway Through Mountains Via Flaminia," Italy, 1943. Artist...

The original finding aid described this photograph as: Country: Unknown Scene Camera Operator: Unknown Release Status: Released to Public Combined Military Service Digital Photographic Files

Randolphs 1999 Ambassadors visit with a patient at the Audie L. Murphy Memorial Veterans Hospital. The Ambassadors teamed up with Randolph officials, other military ambassadors, and civic leader to pass out valentines and visit veterans during the annual event. From left, Technical Sergeant Prentiss Spivey, Kirsten Kralik, 2nd Lieutenant Shelby Prescod, and 2nd Lieutenant Scott Belanger

Randolphs 1999 Ambassadors visit with a patient at the Audie L. Murphy...

The original finding aid described this photograph as: Base: Randolph Air Force Base State: Texas (TX) Country: United States Of America (USA) Scene Camera Operator: O. J. Sanchez, GS-9 (Civilian) Release ... more

Happy Valentine Day From Mars!

Happy Valentine Day From Mars!

Happy Valentine Day From Mars! NASA/JPL/MSSS

Mrs. Mary Jo Myers, wife of General (GEN) Richard Myers, Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of STAFF (CJCS), presents Brigadier General (BGEN) Christopher Kelly, Commander, 376th Air Expeditionary Wing (AEW) with valentines to present to his troops. Mrs. Myers and General Myers visited the troops at Peter J. Ganci Jr. Air Base, Bishkek, Kyrgyzstan. Elementary school children throughout the United States made the Valentines for the deployed troops. The base is named in honor of a New York City Fire CHIEF killed after he took 50 firemen to safety before the second tower of the World Trade Center (WTC) collapsed. Ganci died upholding the same creed the military follows leave no man behind

Mrs. Mary Jo Myers, wife of General (GEN) Richard Myers, Chairman of t...

The original finding aid described this photograph as: Subject Operation/Series: ENDURING FREEDOM Base: Peter J. Ganci Jr. Air Base State: Chuskaya Oblast Country: Kyrgyzstan (KGZ) Scene Camera Operator: M... more

STAFF Sergeant (SSGT) Dundrae Lakes, USAF, 376th Air Expeditionary Wing Civil Engineering Squadron (AEW CES), Peter J. Ganci Jr. Air Base, Bishkek, Kyrgyzstan, reads a valentine during breakfast at the base dining facility. Valentines delivered to the troops by General (GEN) and Mrs. Richard Myers, Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of STAFF (CJCS), during their visit to the Air Base. Elementary school children throughout the United States made the Valentines for the deployed troops. The base is named in honor of a New York City Fire CHIEF killed after he took 50 firemen to safety before the second tower of the World Trade Center (WTC) collapsed. Ganci died upholding the same creed the...

STAFF Sergeant (SSGT) Dundrae Lakes, USAF, 376th Air Expeditionary Win...

The original finding aid described this photograph as: [Complete] Scene Caption: STAFF Sergeant (SSGT) Dundrae Lakes, USAF, 376th Air Expeditionary Wing Civil Engineering Squadron (AEW CES), Peter J. Ganci Jr.... more

Mr. Willie Huckley, a retired US Army (USA) veteran, receives a Valentine Day card from US Air Force (USAF) STAFF Sergeant (SSGT) Amie Kahler, 81st Training Group, Kessler Air Force Base (AFB) Mississippi (MS), during her Units annual Valentines for Veterans visit at the Veterans Administration (VA) Hospital in located in Biloxi, MS

Mr. Willie Huckley, a retired US Army (USA) veteran, receives a Valent...

The original finding aid described this photograph as: Base: Biloxi State: Mississippi (MS) Country: United States Of America (USA) Scene Camera Operator: Unknown Release Status: Released to Public Combine... more

Spitzer Telescope Sends Rose for Valentine Day

Spitzer Telescope Sends Rose for Valentine Day

A cluster of newborn stars herald their birth in this interstellar Valentine Day commemorative picture obtained with NASA Spitzer Space Telescope. These bright young stars are found in a rosebud-shaped and rose... more

Happy Valentine Day 2004

Happy Valentine Day 2004

converted PNM file NASA/JPL/Malin Space Science Systems

Martian Valentine Day

Martian Valentine Day

Martian Valentine Day NASA/JPL/Malin Space Science Systems

Court of love from BL Royal 16 F II, f. 1

Court of love from BL Royal 16 F II, f. 1

Detail of a miniature of a lady Jeunesse presenting the author to lord Bel Accueil and lady Plaisance and their court, with a full border with two mottos, 'La plus eure' and 'Dieu et mon droit', the arms of Edw... more

Court of Love from BL Royal 16 F II, f. 1

Court of Love from BL Royal 16 F II, f. 1

Miniature of a lady Jeunesse presenting the author to lord Bel Accueil and lady Plaisance and their court, with a full border with two mottos, 'La plus eure' and 'Dieu et mon droit', the arms of Edward the Conf... more

S. Andrea via Flaminia, plan; section (recto) blank (verso)

S. Andrea via Flaminia, plan; section (recto) blank (verso)

Drawn by Anonymous, French, 16th century

Court of Love from BL Royal 16 F II, f. 1

Court of Love from BL Royal 16 F II, f. 1

Detail of a miniature of a lady Jeunesse presenting the author to lord Bel Accueil and lady Plaisance and their court, with a full border with two mottos, 'La plus eure' and 'Dieu et mon droit', the arms of Edw... more

Castle of Love from BL Royal 16 F II, f. 188

Castle of Love from BL Royal 16 F II, f. 188

Detail of a miniature of the Castle of Love, with the lover addressing three women. Image taken from f. 188 of Poems; Art d'amour; Les demands d'amour; Le liver dot grace entire sure le fait du government d'un ... more

colour from "The Quiver of Love. A collection of Valentines ancient and modern. With illustrations, in colors, ... by W. Crane and Kate Greenaway"

colour from "The Quiver of Love. A collection of Valentines ancient an...

This image has been taken from scan 000129 from "The Quiver of Love. A collection of Valentines ancient and modern. With illustrations, in colors, ... by W. Crane and Kate Greenaway". The title and subject term... more

S. Andrea via Flaminia, elevation (recto) blank (verso)

S. Andrea via Flaminia, elevation (recto) blank (verso)

Drawn by Anonymous, French, 16th century

The first love letter

The first love letter

Local Accession Number: 06_11_004410.Title: The first love letter.Genre: Stereographs; Photographic prints.Created/Published: [S.l.] : J. Elliott.Date issued: 1850-1870 (inferred).Physical description: 1 photog... more

Passionate Edwardians

Passionate Edwardians

A rather racy postcard from the early twentieth century (TWAM ref. 5625). ..The postcard is addressed to Mr G. Sowerby, 24 Simpson St, Felling-on-Tyne and postmarked 11 October 1912. The message on the back is ... more

Love's Thermometer - How is your temperature?

Love's Thermometer - How is your temperature?

Collection of Vintage Australian Postcards

Vintage Victorian Valentine

Vintage Victorian Valentine

Public Domain Vintage Postcard: Valentine’s Day Card, from the Early 1900s. High-Resolution Public Domain Image Illustrations.

Vintage Victorian Valentine

Vintage Victorian Valentine

Public Domain Vintage Postcard: Valentine’s Day Card, from the Early 1900s. High-Resolution Public Domain Image Illustrations.

Vintage Victorian Valentine

Vintage Victorian Valentine

Public Domain Vintage Postcard: Valentine’s Day Card, from the Early 1900s. High-Resolution Public Domain Image Illustrations.

Vintage Victorian Valentine

Vintage Victorian Valentine

Public Domain Vintage Postcard: Valentine’s Day Card, from the Early 1900s. High-Resolution Public Domain Image Illustrations.

Vintage Victorian Valentine

Vintage Victorian Valentine

Public Domain Vintage Postcard: Valentine’s Day Card, from the Early 1900s. High-Resolution Public Domain Image Illustrations.

Vintage Victorian Valentine

Vintage Victorian Valentine

Public Domain Vintage Postcard: Valentine’s Day Card, from the Early 1900s. High-Resolution Public Domain Image Illustrations.

Vintage Victorian Valentine

Vintage Victorian Valentine

Public Domain Vintage Postcard: Valentine’s Day Card, from the Early 1900s. High-Resolution Public Domain Image Illustrations.

Vintage Victorian Valentine

Vintage Victorian Valentine

Public Domain Vintage Postcard: Valentine’s Day Card, from the Early 1900s. High-Resolution Public Domain Image Illustrations.

Vintage Victorian Valentine

Vintage Victorian Valentine

Public Domain Vintage Postcard: Valentine’s Day Card, from the Early 1900s. High-Resolution Public Domain Image Illustrations.

Vintage Victorian Valentine

Vintage Victorian Valentine

Public Domain Vintage Postcard: Valentine’s Day Card, from the Early 1900s. High-Resolution Public Domain Image Illustrations.

Vintage Victorian Valentine

Vintage Victorian Valentine

Public Domain Vintage Postcard: Valentine’s Day Card, from the Early 1900s. High-Resolution Public Domain Image Illustrations.

Vintage Victorian Valentine

Vintage Victorian Valentine

Public Domain Vintage Postcard: Valentine’s Day Card, from the Early 1900s. High-Resolution Public Domain Image Illustrations.

Vintage Victorian Valentine

Vintage Victorian Valentine

Public Domain Vintage Postcard: Valentine’s Day Card, from the Early 1900s. High-Resolution Public Domain Image Illustrations.

Vintage Victorian Valentine

Vintage Victorian Valentine

Public Domain Vintage Postcard: Valentine’s Day Card, from the Early 1900s. High-Resolution Public Domain Image Illustrations.

Vintage Victorian Valentine

Vintage Victorian Valentine

Public Domain Vintage Postcard: Valentine’s Day Card, from the Early 1900s. High-Resolution Public Domain Image Illustrations.

Vintage Victorian Valentine

Vintage Victorian Valentine

Public Domain Vintage Postcard: Valentine’s Day Card, from the Early 1900s. High-Resolution Public Domain Image Illustrations.

Vintage Victorian Valentine

Vintage Victorian Valentine

Public Domain Vintage Postcard: Valentine’s Day Card, from the Early 1900s. High-Resolution Public Domain Image Illustrations.

Vintage Victorian Valentine

Vintage Victorian Valentine

Public Domain Vintage Postcard: Valentine’s Day Card, from the Early 1900s. High-Resolution Public Domain Image Illustrations.