- 14 Feb 18
We've always been told that Paris is the city of love, it simply oozes romance. However the heart of all love, quite literally, is in our very own Dublin City.
Since 1836, the remains of St Valentine have been in Dublin, including his heart. Given to Fr John Spratt by Pope Gregory XV as a token of esteem, the casket with the remains inside lies in Whitefriar Street Church in Dublin and can be visited by anyone at anytime.
The story begins in Rome, Italy, when Fr John Spratt was there on one of his speaking tours. During his time there, his appearances began attracting the creme de la creme of Italian society, who turned out to hear him speak. He would receive praise in all forms wherever he went; presents, praise and tokens of esteem. One day, one of these tokens of esteem came in the form of a casket, holding the remains of the Patron Saint of love and lovers St Valentines himself, and was given to Fr John by none other, his Holiness Pope Gregory XVI.
The remains were put safely away in storage inside Whitefriar Church however after the passing of Fr Spratt and the bishop, they were forgotten about. There was a lot going on in Dublin around this time and none of it was nice. The famine had struck Ireland and there was a rebellion happening across Dublin, people had other things on their minds than the remains of some Saint.