There are various stories and legends about St Valentine. Some say he was a bishop, some that he was a priest. But at the heart of the stories is the reality that he was martyred for officiating at weddings.
His feast day is no longer on the universal calendar of the Catholic Church where the Ordinary Form of the Mass is celebrated, the form of the Mass introduced after the Second Vatican Council, in 1969, the only form of the Mass that most Catholics today have experienced. But his feast day is still on the calendar used by those who celebrate the Extraordinary Form of the Mass, using the Missal promulgated by Blessed John XXIII in 1962.
In many parts of the world St Valentine's Day has become a largely secular affair and the word 'Saint' dropped. Here in the Philippines it is for more than a few an excuse for fornication and adultery, though not by any means for all. For some it is a day to celebrate innocent friendship.
For some years the Catholic Church in Australia has been Putting the Saint Back into St Valentine's Day. That is the Archdiocese of Sydney. The Archdiocese of Melbourne is Celebrating St Valentine. The Australian Catholic Family and Marriage Council has been preparing a kit for the last five years. That for 2014 is here. It includes a link to On the Feast of St Valentine, with Pope Francis! He will be meeting with engaged couples on 14 February.
Our Lady of Mount Carmel Church, Dublin
Relics of St Valentine were given to the Carmelite Friars (OCarm) by Pope Gregory XVI in 1836 and they are in the casket beneath the altar in the photo above, which is a side-altar. You can find the history of the relics and of the saint on the website of the Friars.
On another page you will find the texts for Mass in honour of St Valentine.
Almighty ever-living God,
by whose gift blessed Valentine fought
for righteousness’ sake even until death,
grant, we pray, through his intercession,
that we may bear every adversity for the sake of your love
and hasten with all our strength towards you
who alone are life.
Through our Lord Jesus Christ, your Son,
who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit,
One God, for ever and ever.
Prayer to St Valentine
O glorious advocate and protector,
look with pity upon our wants,
hear our requests,
attend to our prayers,
relieve by your intercession the miseries
under which we labour,
and obtain for us the divine blessing,
that we may be found worthy to join you
in praising the Almighty for all eternity:
through the merits of
Our Lord Jesus Christ.
Happy SAINT Valentine's Day!