Dublin, Ireland: Shrine of Saint Valentine & the Icon of Our Lady of Dublin
About Saint Valentine:
There are few hard facts around St. Valentine (known as St. Valentine of Rome) but we know he really did exist, because archaeologists have unearthed a Roman catacomb and an ancient church dedicated to St. Valentine. In 496 AD Pope Gelasius marked February 14th as a celebration in honor of his martyrdom.
About the Shrine of Saint Valentine:
This Whitefriar Street Carmelite Church (Church of Our Lady of Mount Carmel) is unexpectedly one of the city’s most romantic spots. Many are drawn here because the church holds the relics of Saint Valentine, a gift from Pope Gregory XVI in 1836, a small vial of Saint Valentine’s blood.
This shrine contains the sacred body of Saint Valentine the Martyr, together with a small vessel tinged with his blood. They were given to the church by Pope Gregory XVI. They’re kept in a casket on an altar to the right of the main altar.
The Shrine to St. Valentine is found on the right hand side of the church as you enter. The casket sits beneath the marble altar in a niche which is protected by an ornate iron and glass gate. Above the altar stands the life-sized statue of the saint set into a marble mosaic alcove.
Today, the Shrine is visited throughout the year by couples who come to pray to Saint Valentine and to ask him to watch over them in their lives together.
The feast day of the Saint on February 14th is a very popular one and many couples come to the Eucharistic celebrations that day which also includes a Blessing of Rings for those about to be married. On the feast day, the Reliquary is removed from beneath the side-altar and is placed before the high altar in the church and there venerated at the Masses held throughout the day.
Note: Although some of his relics are located here in Dublin, the skull of Saint Valentine is located in Rome at the Basilica of Saint Mary in Cosmedin.
About the icon of Our Lady of Dublin:
The time-blackened statue of the Blessed Virgin, carrying the Infant Jesus in her arms, and known as Our Lady of Dublin, is perhaps the best loved statue in the capital city, especially cherished by Dubliners themselves.
Address: 56 Aungier St, Dublin 2
GPS coordinates: 53° 20′ 23.4132” N, 6° 16′ 0.2640” W
Tel: +353 (01) 475 8821 Fax: +353 (01) 4758825
email: [email protected] (parish office)
Click here for the Shrine of Saint Valentine official website.