Thinking Outside the (Chocolate) Box on Saint Valentine’s Day

09 Feb 2017

World Meeting of Families 2018 is offering free Saint Valentine’s Day Gift Tokens with a difference, for couples to give to their loved ones

  • Following Pope Francis’ calls to celebrate Saint Valentine’s Day in a more meaningful way, the World Meeting of Families 2018 is inviting couples to think beyond the traditional box of chocolates and roses to gifts that will actually help them grow in their love.
  • WMOF2018 encourages married couples as well as single people looking for a spouse to pray for Saint Valentine’s intercession on 14
  • The relics of Saint Valentine rest in Whitefriar Street Church in Dublin.

In his document on The Joy of Love (Amoris Laetitia), Pope Francis refers directly to Saint Valentine’s Day as an opportunity for couples to celebrate the importance of romantic love by gifting their time and attention to one another rather than simply relying on the more commercial approaches to the Saints Day. This is why, as part of the preparations for World Meeting of Families in Ireland in August 2018, the World Meeting of Families 2018 are inviting individuals and couples to celebrate the Joy of Love this Saint Valentine’s Day and to mark this day in a number of special ways.

WMOF2018 have produced six free gift tokens that people can give to their loved ones and a Saint Valentine’s flyer with further ideas on how they can mark this special day, including prayers for single people looking for a spouse. The gift tokens are a special gift to celebrate love and help it grow. They include, a commitment to:

  • Have a technology-free evening to do an activity of your choice
  • Set aside time for prayer together as a couple
  • Go for a hand-in-hand walk together
  • Cook a special meal for your loved one
  • Share loads of tender hugs
  • Take a journey down memory lane where you can set aside some special time to remember how you met and have grown together.

The tokens are free and are available from cathedrals across Ireland, the Knock Shrine, in Veritas shops, and from Accord Marriage Care centres. They can also be downloaded on the World Meeting of Families 2018 website:

Dublin is blessed to have the reliquary containing the remains of Saint Valentine in Whitefriar Street Church. WMOF2018 are inviting people to visit the shrine and pray through Saint Valentine’s intercession in regards to people finding love or growing in the love they have already found.

Notes to editors:

  • The World Meeting of Families will take place in Dublin from 22 to 26 August 2018. 
  • Pope Francis chose Dublin to host the World Meeting of Families 2018 and gave it the theme: “The Gospel of the Family: Joy for the World”.
  • The World Meeting of Families takes place every three years: the most recent took place in Philadelphia in September 2015. The WMOF2018 has as its heart three main moments. Firstly, from the 22 to 24 August, a three-day Congress for all that will entail a joyful and reflective programme of workshops, talks and discussions centered on the main theme; an engaging and exciting programme for young people as well as faith and fun activities for children. This will be followed by a Festival of Families on Saturday 25 August, comprising a special concert style event within a prayerful and joyful atmosphere, in which personal stories of faith will be shared by families representing the five continents of the world. WMOF2018 will close with a solemn Eucharistic Celebration on Sunday 26 August, that will gather thousands of people from Ireland and all over the world. WMOF2018 will include exhibitions, cultural events and musical performances, events around the city, gestures of solidarity with those in need, celebrations and much more.
  • In the following months and to help prepare for WMOF2018, a programme of pre-catechesis will be offered to parishes and families based largely on the Apostolic Exhortation Amoris Laetitia(The Joy of Love), encouraging reflection on different aspects of being family in the Church and in the world today.
  • The World Meeting of Families 2018 will attract thousands of Irish and International pilgrims. Successfully hosting this historic event will only be possible with the help of many generous volunteers willing to put their time and talents to the service of others. The WMOF2018 is seeking volunteers to help them in this task. Visit for more information.

For media contact: Catholic Communications Office Maynooth: Martin Long 00353 (0) 86 172 7678 and Brenda Drumm 00353 (0) 87 310 4444