Couples in Ireland can receive a very special blessing at Saint Valentine's Shrine in Dublin

Carol and Tim will have a storied saint watching over them for the rest of their lives together. The engaged couple received a special St. Valentine’s blessing in 2017 at the Shrine of the Holy Relics of Saint Valentine in Dublin.

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Bishop Denis Nulty of Kildare and Leighlin presided at the blessing of Carol Dignam from Kilcock, Co. Kildare, and Tim Boylan from Foxrock, Co. Dublin at the shrine, which is located at Our Lady of Mount Carmel, Whitefriar Street Church.

Carol works for Deloitte in Learning and Professional Education and Tim is a restaurant manager in Dun Laoghaire, County Dublin.  

Saint Valentine, a priest in ancient Rome, is regarded as the patron saint of couples in love, preparing for marriage, and of married life. Relics of the saint are interred in the Carmelite church in Ireland's capital city.

According to tradition, Saint Valentine was martyred on February 14, 250 AD, hence the tradition of Valentine's Day on February 14.

In 1836, relics that were exhumed from the catacombs of Saint Hippolytus on the Via Tiburtina, near Rome, were identified with Saint Valentine.  

These relics were placed in a casket, donated by Pope Gregory XVI, and transported to the Whitefriar Street Carmelite Church in Dublin where they continue to be venerated to this day.

And especially on February 14. 

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According to the Irish Catholic Bishops Conference, in his document on “The Joy of Love” (Amoris Laetitia), Pope Francis refers directly to Saint Valentine’s Day as an opportunity for couples to celebrate the importance of romantic love by gifting their time and attention to one another rather than simply relying on the more commercial approaches to the saint’s say.

A statement from the bishops suggests:

  • Have a technology-free evening to do an activity of your choice.
  • Set aside time for prayer together as a couple.
  • Go for a hand-in-hand walk together.
  • Cook a special meal for your loved one.
  • Share loads of tender hugs.
  • Take a journey down memory lane where you can set aside some special time to remember how you met and have grown together.

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This article, originally published in 2017, was featured in the Irish Echo. You can read more from them here.

Have you ever visited St. Valentine's shrine in Dublin? Tell us about it in the comments