Feast day: February 14
Prayer to St Valentine
O glorious advocate and protector,
look with pity upon our wants,
hear our requests,
attend to our prayers,
relieve by your intercession the miseries
under which we labour,
and obtain for us the divine blessing,
that we may be found worthy to join you
in praising the Almighty for all eternity:
through the merits of
Our Lord Jesus Christ.
Throughout the centuries since Valentine received martyrdom there have been various basilicas, churches and monasteries built over the site of his grave. Therefore, over the years, many restorations and reconstructions took place at the site. In the early 1800’s, such work was taking place and the remains of Valentine were discovered along with a small vessel tinged with his blood and some other artefacts.
In 1835 an Irish Carmelite by the name of John Spratt was visiting Rome. Apparently his fame as a preacher had gone before him, no doubt brought by some Jesuits who had been in Dublin. The elite of Rome flocked to hear him and he received many tokens of esteem from the doyens of the Church. One such token came from Pope Gregory XVI (1831-1846) and were the remains of Saint Valentine.
On November 10, 1836, the Reliquary containing the remains arrived in Dublin and were brought in solemn procession to Whitefriar Street Church where they were received by Archbishop Murray of Dublin. With the death of Fr Spratt interest in the relics died away and they went into storage. During a major renovation in the church in the 1950s/60s they were returned to prominence with an altar and shrine being constructed to house them and enable them to be venerated. The statue was carved by Irene Broe and depicts the saint in the red vestments of a martyr and holding a crocus in his hand.
Today, the Shrine is visited throughout the year by couples who come to pray to Valentine and to ask him to watch over them in their lives together. The feast-day of the saint, February 14, is a very popular one.
Internet scam regarding the Shrine of St Valentine
It has been brought to our attention that a website – angelvisionary.com – is selling medals of St Valentine purporting to contain soil from Whitefriar Street Church, Dublin. Whitefriars, Whitefriar Street Church and the Carmelites in Ireland have no connection whatsoever to this website, nor have we given permission to them for the use of photographs of the church and shrine which appear to have been taken from our own website. No soil has been taken from beneath the shrine and neither has any soil been taken from the environs of the church and, therefore, their ‘Certificate of Authenticity’ is fake. The medals being sold do not come from Whitefriar Street Church and are not being sold on our behalf.