From candlelit dinners to chocolate and red roses, the 14th of February is the day of love and romance. However, did you know that the Saint who the day is named after is buried under our very own feet here in Dublin.
St. Valentine was a 3rd century Roman saint who born around 226 AD. Even since the Middle Ages, his day has been associated with a tradition of love and romance. He died on February 14th and his remains were buried in Rome, so how is he connected to Dublin? You have to go all the way back to the 1800’s and one Irish priest named Father John Spratt.
Spratt was a well-known preacher of his day, and one of his many fans was Pope Gregory XVI. After being invited to speak at a church in Rome, the Pope gifted Spratt with the remains of St. Valentines and a vial of his blood. The remains were kept in a small wooden box wrapped in white ribbon. Spratt arrived back in Ireland with the remains of St. Valentine in 1836. Ever since that day, the remains of St. Valentine have been on display in Whitefriar Street Church in Dublin city centre.
While the likes of Paris and Milan may consider themselves the cities of love, it is Dublin that has Valentine's true remains.