Valentine's Day's connection to Scotland and Ireland


There were three saints named Valentine. One was a Roman priest, another a Bishop in Terni, and the third died in Africa. Although debated, most believe that it is the Roman priest who is the Patron Saint of Love.

Emperor Claudius II cancelled all engagements and marriages and made Christianity a capital crime. Valentine, a Christian priest, continued to marry young couples despite the risk. Valentine was captured, beaten, and beheaded on February 14th, 269 AD. It is said that while being held in prison awaiting execution, Valentine gave a note to his jailer's blind daughter. She opened the note and her sight was restored. The note said "From your Valentine".

In 1835, Father Spratt of Dublin visited Rome and preached to the community. Pope Gregory XVI was so impressed that he exhumed the remains of St. Valentine and sent them with Father Spratt to Whitefriar Street Church in Dublin, where they remain today.

Although it is generally believed that the remains in Dublin are authentic, other places also claim to hold the remains of Valentine. Blessed St. John Duns Scotus in Glasgow, the Church of St. Praxedes in Rome, Roquemaure in France, and the Stephansdom in Vienna all hold relics, often just pieces or scrapings of bones. The Whitefriar Street Church remains are said to be several bones with some blood in a sealed container that has never been opened.  In 1999, it was claimed that the St. Francis' Church in Glasgow held the "real" remains of St Valentine and it was suggested that DNA testing should be done to determine which were the true remains. However, since there is nothing to compare the results to, a DNA test would be useless.

Saint Valentine's Day is celebrated on February 14th.

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