Wednesday, February 10, 2010

Valentine's Day: The Dublin Connection

Growing up in Dublin, I often atteded Mass at the Carmelite Church at Whitefriar Street. This church was about a 15 minute walk from my home.

In 1836, some relics were exhumed from the catacombs of Saint Hippolytus on the Via Tiburtina, in Rome. They were identified with St Valentine. Pope Gregory XVI had them placed in a casket, and sent them, as a gift to the Whitefriar Street Carmelite Church in Dublin.

Many tourists visit the relics on St. Valentine's Day, when the casket is carried in solemn procession to the high altar for a special Mass dedicated to young people and all those in love.
According to legend, St. Valentine, a Roman priest martyred in 269, while awaiting execution, restored the sight of his jailer’s blind daughter.

A second legend says, he penned a farewell note to the jailer’s daughter, on the eve of his death.

He signed the letter, “From your Valentine.”

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