Looking for My Valentine


Posted by wendy | Posted in expat life | Posted on 01-10-2010


When I was in town for Culture Night, I walked by a street sign that said “St Valentines’ Relic.” I was fascinated. I didn’t know St Valentine is in Ireland! As I was on a mission getting to Dublin City Trust I didn’t have time to go and find the relic that day.

I saw this post in Dublin Tourism site about a Fashion Festival the other day and decided to go. This site is awesome, if you want to check out what’s going on in Dublin definitely visit them.

I didn’t see much of the Dublin Fashion Festival. There just not that much going on, I saw a display of fashion at Hickey’s Fabric Store. They sell yarn but not a great selection and I didn’t get anything. I did see this little gem!


The directions for the festival events are so vague (i.e. See live cat walk on Henry Street, but doesn’t say where on Henry Street, etc.) I just gave up and decided to go look for St Valentine.

He is located in Whitefriar Street Carmelite Church.

I had to walk by the Dublin City Trust building again. It looks quite different!


The shutters is an awesome way of keeping everything inside. Also made me glade I went to see it on Culture Night. I guess normally it’s all shutters all the time.

Bunch of Irish Police Men on bikes waiting for the stop light. I guess they have to obey the law too!


After 1.5 km of hoffing, I arrived at the Whitefriar Street Carmelite Church.

It’s a very functional Church. I also discovered that ‘The Lady of Dublin’ , Patron Saint of Dublin, is here as well.


St Val is across from St Jude (one of my favorite saint) on a shrine to the right hand side past the confession boxes.


He is the box below the statue.

How did he end up in Ireland you ask? Well, when this Irish Carmelite priest, Dr John Spratt, did such an awesome job preaching in 1835, all the Jesuits showed up in Dublin to hear him preach. He got lots of presents from everyone and everywhere for being such an awesome priest.

Pope Gregory XVI was so impressed, he decided to give Dr John Spratt St Valentine’s relic. Epic Win!

When Dr Spratt died, everyone lost interest in the relic and it was put in the basement. Finally during the 1950s after a renovation St Valentines was put back in his rightful place. The reliquary is supposed to have a Holy See Seal on it. (I didn’t look that closely.)

Here’s a close up of the casket,

There’s also a rock (a little one in the a round porthole like reliquary) inside by the front door of the church. It’s a rock from Lourds where water started to flow in 1858. There were whole bunch of people going up to it touching it. That’s cool. I never seen people get to touch a relic before.


It’s a real working church where there were people giving flowers to shrine, and praying. In front of each saint, there’s a book where you can write your wish and pray for the wish to come true.

At some point, some guy started to practice the church organ.

I am not sure if I was suppose to read them, but I did. It’s like full of real wishes. Some of them are quite sad.


Here’s an photo of inside the church.