It was Fr. John Spratt, who arrived in Rome on December 15, 1835, who managed the transfer of St. Valentine’s remains from Rome to Dublin.
Fr. John Spratt, the “beloved of Dublin’s poor”, visited Rome in 1835. A Carmelite friar, he had been for years the Provincial of the Carmelite Order in Ireland. He arrived in the Eternal City from Dublin on December 15, having been invited by the Jesuits to preach in their main church, the famous Gesú. As a personal friend to Cardinal Weld, Pope Gregory XVI’s adviser on affairs on Ireland and England, Fr. Spratt immediately became well known in most Roman circles, and was deeply loved by many, including the pope, who granted him custody of St. Valentine’s relics.
The remains of St. Valentine had been recently uncovered, as his grave was being restored at the time. Spratt took the reliquary containing St. Valentine’s body and a small vessel with his blood to the Whitefriars Street Church in Dublin, where it still can be visited today. The reliquary contains some of the saint’s remains (and the vessel of blood) enclosed in a small box, sealed with wax, with a red silk ribbon tied around it. The box, as explained by AtlasObscura, was then placed in a casket, which is opened from time to time to check its contents.
If you want to get to know the Whitefriars Street Church a bit better, feel free to check this photo gallery:
Since you are here…
…we’d like to have one more word with you. We are excited to report that Aleteia’s readership is growing at a rapid rate, world-wide! Our team proves its mission every day by providing high-quality content that informs and inspires a Christian life. But quality journalism has a cost and it’s more than ads can cover. We want our articles to be accessible to everyone, free of charge, but we need your help. To continue our efforts to nourish and inspire our Catholic family, your support is invaluable. Become an Aleteia Patron today for as little as $3 a month. May we count on you?