Instead of a normal post we have two announcements for readers in Dublin. Sorry for all of those readers who are not based in Dublin – we will return to normal service tomorrow.
Today is St Valentine’s Day in the traditional Catholic calendar. Of course, marketers have managed to create something entirely different from this feast. Sadly, it is now a day that celebrates lust and sentimentality, rather than the true and noble love that we should associate with St Valentine.
The Carmelite Church at Whitefriar Street in Dublin has the great privilege of holding the relics of St Valentine. Now, it must be admitted that other churches around the world also claim to hold this body, but this is probably because there was more than one St Valentine. In any event, the body of a martyr called St Valentine was given to the Carmelites in Dublin by Pope Gregory XVI in 1835. The casket containing the relics is normally held in a shrine at the side of the church, but it is placed in front of the altar on his feast. It is well worth visiting today if anyone has a chance to do so.
You may read more about the history of the relics and the shrine, and about the saint himself, here: http://www.carmelites.ie/ireland/whitefriar%20st/valentine.htm
The second announcement is that the annual Mass for the beatification of the Servant of God Fr John Sullivan SJ takes place on Saturday, February 23, at 11am in Gardiner Street Church. Fr Sullivan was a great friend and admirer of Fr Doyle’s. They were ordained together on July 28, 1907, and some of Fr Doyle’s favourite aspirations were found amongst Fr Sullivan’s papers when the latter died. Fr Sullivan’s cause is a most worthy one that deserves every support.