A Reliquary of the remains of St Valentine’s is becoming an increasing popular place of quiet reflection here in Dublin.
In 1835 an Irish Carmelite priest, Dr John Spratt, was visiting Rome. He was well know in Ireland for his skill as a preacher but also for his great devotion to the poor of the Liberties area of Dublin. He had also recently been responsible for the building of a new church to Our Lady of Mount Carmel at Whitefriar Street. While in Rome his preaching became highly regarded and thousands of people came to hear him speak. He received many tokens of esteem and one of those was from Pope Gregory XVI. The pontiff suggested that a Reliquary of the remains of St Valentine should be sent to Ireland.
On November 10th, 1836 the Reliquary containing the remains arrived in Dublin and was brought through the streets in solemn procession. However St Valentine was not a very well know saint at the time in Ireland and it was not until the 1950’s that the life story of St Valentine became of significant public interest. St Valentine’s remains had been kept in quiet storage for over 100 years. As public interest in St Valentine grew it was decided to build a humble altar in the church with the Reliquary on display. In addition a new statue was carved by Irene Broe depicting the saint in the red vestments of a martyr and holding a crocus in his hands.
For a unique spiritual and romantic Dublin experience spend some time in quiet meditation in the historic and beautiful Whitefriar Street church. The church continues to be a place of devotion, prayer and quiet reflection.