The relics of St Valentine in Dublin

Did you know what connection Saint Valentine has with the City of  Dublin?

But before we tell you about that connection, Did you know who was Saint Valentine?

Every February 14, Saint Valentine, is remembered.  Saint Valentine was a Christian Martyr that put his life at risk during the first period of Christianity.

At that time the Roman Emperor Claudius had forbade young people get to married. The reason was to make sure young men entered the Roman Army. However, Saint Valentine considered it unfair and continued marrying young couples.

Saint Valentine had growing popularity due to a miraculous story of restoring sight for a blind girl (Julia) while he was under arrest and his faith being challenged by Roman officials.

The Roman Emperor Claudius gave Saint Valentine the choice of refusing his faith or being beheaded. Saint Valentine remained faithful to Christianity and therefore was  beheaded on February 14, 270 in Via Flaminia in Rome.

After Valentín’s death, Julia, in a gesture of gratitude to him, planted an almond tree with pink flowers. Now, the almond tree is considered a symbol of love.

Pope Gelasius established February 14 to honor Saint Valentine between the years 496 and 498. However, in 1969, under the pontificate of Paul IV and after the Second Vatican Council, Saint Valentine was removed, despite this, Valentine´s day is famous throughout the world.


Saint Valentine’s heart lies in Dublin

The relics of Saint Valentine are in the Whitefriar Street Carmelite Church in Dublin. The heart resides in a golden box in a shrine dedicated to Saint Valentine.

On November 10, 1836, the relics of Saint Valentine arrived in Dublin, and were carried in solemn procession to Whitefriar Church Street, where It was received by Archbishop Murray of Dublin.

It was a present from Pope Gregory XVI to the Irish Carmelite John Spratt, who was famous for his prayers. With Father Spratt’s death interest in the relics died down.

During a major renovation of the church in the 1950s the relics were brought back to prominence with a shrine being built to house them.

In the church a statue sculpted by Irene Broe depicts the Saint in the red vestments of a martyr and carrying a palm leaf in his hands.

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