The Feast of Saint Valentine will be celebrated on Tuesday 14 February with the blessing of engaged couple Ms Carol Dignam from Kilcock, Co Kildare, and Mr Tim Boylan from Foxrock, Dublin at the Shrine of the holy relics of Saint Valentine in Dublin city centre. Bishop Denis Nulty, President of Accord Catholic Marriage Care Service, will bless Carol and Tim at Our Lady of Mount Carmel, Whitefriar Street Church in the Archdiocese of Dublin.
Carol works for Deloitte in Learning & Professional Education and Tim is a restaurant manager in Dun Laoghaire, Co Dublin. The couple met in Bundaberg when they were both travelling around Australia and are planning to marry in 2018 in Saint Coca’s Church, Kilcock, in the Diocese of Kildare and Leighlin.
Holy relics of Saint Valentine are interred in the Carmelite Church in Whitefriar Street, Dublin. Saint Valentine, a priest in ancient Rome, is regarded as the patron saint of couples in love, preparing for marriage and of married life. According to tradition, Saint Valentine was martyred on 14 February 250 AD. In 1836 relics that were exhumed from the catacombs of Saint Hippolytus on the Via Tiburtina, near Rome, were identified with Saint Valentine. These relics were placed in a casket, donated by Pope Gregory XVI, and transported to the Whitefriar Street Carmelite Church in Dublin where they continue to be venerated by the faithful to this day. Father Brian McKay OCarm is Prior and Father Seán MacGiollarnáth OCarm is Parish Priest of Our Lady of Mount Carmel, Whitefriar Street Church in Dublin.
Bishop Nulty will also launch the Accord 2016 figures for sacramental marriage preparation and for marriage and relationship counselling. Accord, Catholic Marriage Care Service, is an agency of the Irish Catholic Bishops’ Conference. The first Accord centre in Ireland was opened in 1962 at Saint Mary’s Parish, Belfast, in the Diocese of Down & Connor. Accordcurrently operates in 55 centres throughout the island of Ireland – North and South – and is committed to providing a professional service serving the pastoral needs of individuals at different stages in their development – in schools through its Relationship and Sexuality Education programmes; in helping couples prepare for marriage; and through its provision and support for couples and individuals through its marriage and relationship counselling service. Members come from a wide variety of backgrounds and are trained and work under supervision in accordance with best practice. TUSLA Child and Family Agency (RoI) is the major source of funding for Accord in the Republic of Ireland. Accord also operates with the support of the Health Service Executive (RoI) and in Northern Ireland some funding comes from the Department of Health, Social Services and Public Safety (NI) policy unit.
For more see www.accord.ie.