Ryde Social Heritage Group research the social history of the citizens of Ryde, Isle of Wight. Documenting their lives, businesses and burial transcriptions.
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Love is in the air!

Valentine’s Day is celebrated on 14 February by many people throughout the world and traditionally is when lovers express their love for each other by sending Valentine’s cards and giving gifts.

There were two Valentines in Roman times sainted for their Christian martyrdom and honoured on this date. No romantic elements are present in the original early medieval biographies of either of these martyrs and by the time a Saint Valentine became linked to romance in the fourteenth century, distinctions between the two were lost. In the 1969 revision of the Roman Catholic Calendar of Saints, the feast day of Saint Valentine on February 14 was removed because so little was known about him.

The story has been embroidered in modern times to portray Valentine as a priest who broke the law of the Roman Empire ordering young soldiers remain single. Valentine secretly performed marriage ceremonies for some soldiers and was arrested. On the evening before Valentine was to be executed, he wrote the first “valentine” himself, addressed to his beloved, the jailer’s daughter, saying “From your Valentine.”

The day is most closely associated with the mutual exchange of love notes in the form of “valentines”. Modern Valentine symbols include the heart-shaped outline, doves, and winged Cupids. In Victorian times sending cards and having Valentine’s Balls became very popular.

11 Feb 1899 Isle of Wight Observer “The St.Valentine’s Ball next Wednesday will be an enjoyable affair. The ballroom is going to be beautifully decorated, an Arch of evergreens and flowers being the principal feature.”

Sources – Wikipedia, Isle of Wight Observer