Did you know that the remains of Saint Valentine, the patron of lovers were resting in a church in Dublin? Yep, pretty surprising, right?! Here is what happened…
In 1835, Father John Spratt, responsible for the Carmelite church on Aungier Street, went to Rome. His reputation of a good preacher and the stories of his hard work with the poor people of Dublin preceded him. So much that the Pope at the time, Gregory XVI, decided to offer him the sacred body of Saint Valentine as well as a vessel tinged with his blood.
Father John Pratt brought his gift back to his church and this is how, still today, when you go inside this byzantine-looking church on Aungier Street, you will find under Saint Valentine’s statue, a box holding the saint’s reliquary.
Every Valentine’s day, the box is released and put on the high altar and couples flock to have their rings blessed under the benevolent gaze of the Saint’s statue.
Visitors are also welcome to write down their prayers and love wishes in a book placed on the shrine.
Top tip: if you end up in Whitefriar Street Carmelite Church to pay a visit to Saint Valentine, don’t forget to also check out Our Lady of Dublin statue on your way out. This is a 16th century wooden sculpture, the only one left of its kind, representing the Black Madonna of Ireland.
Whitefriar Street Carmelite Church (also known as Church of Our Lady of Mount Carmel)
56, Aungier Street
Special masses & blessings of the rings on Valentine’s day
Bus: 9, 16, 49, 65, 68, 83, 122
Opening hours: 7.30am-6pm Mon, Wed-Fri; 7.30am-9pm Tue; 8.30am-7pm Sat; 7.30am-7pm Sun