Photocall for blessing of five engaged couples at the Shrine of Saint Valentine, Dublin

09 Feb 2022

  • 2021 data relating to numbers of couples preparing for Sacramental Marriage to be released at photocall  

Ahead of the Feast of Saint Valentine, you, or a representative, are invited to a photocall for the blessing of five engaged couples at the Shrine of the holy relics of Saint Valentine in Dublin city.  Details:

Time and date            Saturday 12 February 2022 at 12.15pm at the Shrine of Saint Valentine.

Venue                         Our Lady of Mount Carmel, Whitefriar Street Church in the Archdiocese of Dublin.

In attendance             Bishop Michael Router, Auxiliary Bishop of Armagh and Vice-President of Accord Catholic Marriage Care Service CLG, will bless five engaged couples at the Shrine of Saint Valentine.

Looking forward to the special blessing of engaged couples at the Shrine of Saint Valentine in Whitefriar Street Church, in the Archdiocese of Dublin, Tony Shanahan, Director of Accord Catholic Marriage Care Service CLG, said, “For sixty years Accord’s marriage preparation courses have helped couples gain a deeper understanding of the richness and grace of  sacramental marriage as well as helping them in very practical ways to equip themselves for the uncharted and  unique journey of their lives together after the wedding itself.  As marriage is the most important life decision for many, preparation is the key to success.”

Mr Shanahan continued, “In terms of the demand for sacramental marriage, it is noteworthy how important faith remains to couples who wish to commit themselves to one another in the Church.  Last year during 2021, as the social restrictions arising from the Covid-19 pandemic began to lift, the number of couples attending Accord’s marriage preparation courses increased by 59% over 2020.  To date, marriage preparation bookings for 2022 are running 39% ahead of the same period in 2021.”

Notes for Editors

  • Photographs from the blessing of the engaged couples will be available to media from John McElroy on +353 (0) 87 241 6985 and [email protected].
  • Archbishop Dermot Farrell is the Archbishop of Dublin.  Father Simon Nolan, O.Carm is Prior, and Father Seán Mac Giollarnáth O.Carm is Parish Priest, of Our Lady of Mount Carmel Church. 
  • Accord’s marriage preparation and marriage counselling services are offered from 54 offices, north and south, on the island of Ireland.  Accord is managed from three corporate centres based in Maynooth, Dublin and Belfast.
  • The holy relics of Saint Valentine are contained in a reliquary within a dedicated shrine in the Church of Our Lady of Mount Carmel (Carmelite Church on Whitefriar Street), in the Archdiocese of Dublin.  The church was founded by Father John Spratt (1796-1871) in 1825 on the site of the 13th century Carmelite Monastery.  The church was opened in 1826 and he became its first Prior.  Father Pratt was renowned in Europe for his skill as a preacher.  Following a visit to Rome in 1835 Pope Gregory XVI was so impressed that he gave Father Pratt a reliquary containing relics of Saint Valentine which he brought back to Whitefriar Street in Dublin.  Saint Valentine was a priest who married couples in defiance of the Roman emperor Claudius II’s edict and he was martyred on 14 February around 250 AD.                                                

For media contact: Catholic Communications Office Maynooth: Martin Long +353 (0) 86 172 7678 and Brenda Drumm +353 (0) 87 310 4444.