Feb 14, 2010

Happy St. Valentine's Day

photo via creative commons by Lawrence OP
Did you know that St. Valentine's resting place is in Ireland? It's interesting because he died and was buried in Rome. Actually there are several St. Valentines but the one martyred in the 3rd century is traditionally the St. Valentine that the tradition honors.

It's said that this priest defied orders from the Roman Emperor and married soliders and their girlfriends. For this he was sentenced to death. While in prison, these
Shrine of St. Valentine in Dublin
photo via creative commons by 
Canadian Pacific
grateful couples passed notes to him through the bars. He wrote, either to them or to someone he had fallen in love with, and signed his note "From Your Valentine."

But how did he get to Ireland? Saints' relics were often given as gifts or transported to other lands by the Crusaders. The relics were considered holy and the possession of them would bring protection and good fortune. In the case of St. Valentine, a 19th century Irish Carmelite priest was granted Valentine's remains by Pope Gregory XVI. The remains were exhumed and reburied under Whitefriar Street Church in Dublin. There is a shrine there, and today it's visited by those seeking blessings on their love lives. Patrick Roberts has written about that in the Irish Central.

So, Ireland has St. Valentine! It seems that every major holiday has an Irish connection, doesn't it?

1 comment:

  1. So interesting! Thanks for posting; I hope you've had a great St. Valentine's Day.