St. Valentine’s Shrine

The Church is one of the largest in Dublin, and housesone of the finest organs in the country, built by Kenneth Jones Organs Limited in 1983. The church also has a fine choir,under the directorship of Shane Brennan, which lends harmonious solemnity to the 11.30 Mass on Sunday mornings.

The church is particularly noted for its many shrines at which candles burn endlessly. One such shrine houses the relics of St Valentine which were given as a gift to the Church by the Holy See.

John Spratt was an Irish Carmelite known for his preaching and work among the poor in Dublin’s Liberties area. He was also responsible for the building of the church to Our Lady of Mount Carmel at Whitefriar Street, Dublin. The elite of Rome flocked to hear him preach on a visit to Rome in 1835, and Pope Gregory XVI (1831 – 1846) presented him with the relics of St Valentine.

On November 10, 1836, the Reliquary containing the remains arrived in Dublin and were brought in solemn procession to Whitefriar Street Church. With the death of Fr Spratt, interest in the relics died away and they went into storage. During a major renovation in the church in the 1950s/60s they were returned to prominence with an altar and shrine being constructed to house them and enable them to be venerated.

The statue was carved by Irene Broe and depicts the saint in the red vestments of a martyr and holding a crocus in his hand.

Today, the shrine is visited throughout the year by committed couples. February 14 is a particularly popular day and many couples come to the Eucharistic celebrations that day which also include aBlessing of Rings for those about to be married.