This St. Valentine's week, what better moment to reintroduce the profound sayings and thoughts on love of John O’Donohue, who was Ireland’s leading Celtic philosopher and spiritualist.

A former priest, O'Donohue's 1997 book Anam Cara (Soul Friend) was an international best seller. Here are some of his most famous quotes.

“Your beloved and your friends were once strangers. Somehow at a particular time, they came from the distance toward your life. Their arrival seemed so accidental and contingent. Now your life is unimaginable without them. Similarly, your identity and vision are composed of a certain constellation of ideas and feelings that surfaced from the depths of the distance within you. To lose these now would be to lose yourself.”
― John O'Donohue, Anam Cara: A Book of Celtic Wisdom

“One of the tasks of true friendship is to listen compassionately and creatively to the hidden silences. Often secrets are not revealed in words, they lie concealed in the silence between the words or in the depth of what is unsayable between two people.”
― John O'Donohue, Anam Cara: A Book of Celtic Wisdom

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“Every friendship travels at sometime through the black valley of despair. This tests every aspect of your affection. You lose the attraction and the magic. Your sense of each other darkens and your presence is sore. If you can come through this time, it can purify with your love, and falsity and need will fall away. It will bring you onto new ground where affection can grow again.”
― John O'Donohue, Anam Cara: A Book of Celtic Wisdom

“If you send out goodness from yourself, or if you share that which is happy or good within you, it will all come back to you multiplied ten thousand times. In the kingdom of love there is no competition; there is no possessiveness or control. The more love you give away, the more love you will have.”
― John O'Donohue, Anam Cara: A Book of Celtic Wisdom

Couple holding hands at beach. Credit: Getty Images

Couple holding hands at beach. Credit: Getty Images

There is the solitude of suffering, when you go through darkness that is lonely, intense, and terrible. Words become powerless to express your pain; what others hear from your words is so distant and different from what you are actually suffering.”
― John O'Donohue, Anam Cara: A Book of Celtic Wisdom

“Your soul knows the geography of your destiny. Your soul alone has the map of your future, therefore you can trust this indirect, oblique side of yourself. If you do, it will take you where you need to go, but more important it will teach you a kindness of rhythm in your journey.”
― John O'Donohue, Anam Cara: A Book of Celtic Wisdom

“No one else has access to the world you carry around within yourself; you are its custodian and entrance. No one else can see the world the way you see it. No one else can feel your life the way you feel it. Thus it is impossible to ever compare two people because each stands on such different ground. When you compare yourself to others, you are inviting envy into your consciousness; it can be a dangerous and destructive guest.”
― John O'Donohue, Anam Cara: A Book of Celtic Wisdom

“Once the soul awakens, the search begins and you can never go back. From then on, you are inflamed with a special longing that will never again let you linger in the lowlands of complacency and partial fulfillment. The eternal makes you urgent. You are loath to let compromise or the threat of danger hold you back from striving toward the summit of fulfillment.”

Rippling stream on a beach in Donegal, Ireland. Credit: Getty Images

Rippling stream on a beach in Donegal, Ireland. Credit: Getty Images

“When love awakens in your life, in the night of your heart, it is like the dawn breaking within you. Where before there was anonymity, now there is intimacy; where before there was fear, now there is courage; where before in your life there was awkwardness, now there is a rhythm of grace and gracefulness; where before you used to be jagged, now you are elegant and in rhythm with yourself. When love awakens in your life, it is like a rebirth, a new beginning.”
― John O'Donohue, Anam Cara: A Book of Celtic Wisdom

“Beauty is the illumination of your soul.”

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“Love allows understanding to dawn, and understanding is precious. Where you are understood, you are at home. Understanding nourishes belonging. When you really feel understood, you feel free to release yourself into the trust and shelter of the other person's soul.”
― John O'Donohue, Anam Cara: A Book of Celtic Wisdom

“We do not need to go out and find love; rather, we need to be still and let love discover us.”
― John O'Donohue, Anam Cara: A Book of Celtic Wisdom

“If you try to view yourself through the lenses that others offer you, all you will see are distortions; your own light and beauty will become blurred, awkward, and ugly. Your sense of inner beauty has to remain a very private thing.”
― John O'Donohue, Anam Cara: A Book of Celtic Wisdom

A couple watches the sunset on a beach.Getty Images