st valentine shrine at whitefriar street church in dublin st valentines remains are in dublin

From the Archive: St. Valentine’s Remains Are In Dublin

Editor’s Note: I originally wrote this in 2018 but it is still relevant today because guess what? History is still in the past and not much has changed on this topic between 2018 and 2024. I think you’ll enjoy this wild romp through history.

Hold onto your pink teddy bear and open up your box of mystery chocolates because I have an interesting Valentine’s Day story for you!

The actual saint that kicked off this entire multi-billion dollar holiday is St. Valentine and his remains (or part of them) are indeed located in Dublin. Ireland is usually all about St. Patrick, so this St. Valentine connection surprised me.

I read about this link between Valentine’s Day and Ireland on a site called Irish Customs and Culture. You’ll have to read the full account yourself because it is quite detailed. And we all know digging into the minutiae, as important as it may be, is not my love language. That’s why there are experts.

Now, as I understand the story…

St. Valentine’s remains were a gift. A gift!

I think I’d rather get the pink carnations.

Valentine is thought to have died around 270 AD and his remains were buried in Rome. Over the course of 1,500 years, many different churches were built over the site of his grave. In the 1800s, while once again doing construction, they found him!


Not only did they find St. Valentine’s remains, but also a vial tinged with his blood.

In 1835 an Irish Carmelite named John Spratt visited Rome. Carmelites are a Roman Catholic religious order. Spratt was known for his preaching style and many came to hear him speak. During his visit, he was given several ‘tokens of esteem’ by the Roman elite. One of these tokens was the remains of St. Valentine, which were given to John Spratt by Pope Gregory XVI.

The saint’s remains arrived at Whitefriar Street Church in Dublin on November 10, 1836. In a story familiar to poor St. Valentine, his remains went into storage after John Spratt died. Thank goodness the Church does a lot of remodeling though! His remains were brought out of storage during a renovation in the 1950s and 1960s.

(image of St. Valentine Shrine: White Friar Church)

St. Valentine now has a permanent shrine in Whitefriar Street Church and is visited by many tourists and those about to be married- especially around Valentine’s Day.

You can learn more about the church and its place in history here.

I hope you enjoyed this historical take on Valentine’s Day. Do you have any chocolates left? Not those weird ones…the caramel ones, please. Thanks so much!

Have you been to Dublin? Are you celebrating Valentine’s Day? I’d love to know. You can always comment on this blog post, email us here, or reach out via Instagram or Facebook.

Happy Valentine’s Day!

Thank you for being here today. If you want to know more about living in Ireland, check out these posts:

Living in Ireland: Inside My Kitchen

Living in Ireland: Christmas in Retail 2017

Living in Ireland: Storm Ophelia

Living in Ireland: That Time a Tree Came Down

Living in Ireland: Pediatric Emergency Medicine

Living in Ireland: Back After A Month in the United States

Living in Ireland: As Seen On My Commute

Living in Ireland: A Trip to the Hardware Store

Living in Ireland: Spring Flowers In Our Yard

Living in Ireland: Grocery Shopping

Living in Ireland: What to See my Hot Press?

Living in Ireland: Merry Christmas 2016

Living in Ireland: Christmas in Retail

Living in Ireland: Groceries

Moving to Ireland: Grocery Item Look Alikes

Moving to Ireland: Primary School 101

Moving to Ireland: First Week of School

Moving to Ireland: The Great Purge

Moving to Ireland: Human Kindness is Overflowing 

Moving to Ireland: House Viewing #1

Moving to Ireland:  House Viewing #2

Moving to Ireland: House Viewing #3

Moving to Ireland: Temp House First Floor

Moving to Ireland: Temp House Second Floor

Moving Tips to Keep You Sane

My #1 Moving Tip


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