To mark today, 14 February, the Feast of Saint Valentine, Bishop Denis Nulty, the president of Accord Catholic marriage care service, celebrated Mass by the reliquary within which the holy relics of Saint Valentine are contained at the Carmelite Church, Whitefriar Street, in the Archdiocese of Dublin.
During his homily, Bishop Nulty spoke of who Saint Valentine was. The senior prelate said, “Saint Valentine was a Roman martyr, a third century priest, who ministered to Christians who were forbidden to marry or practice their faith, under the tyrannical rule of Emperor Claudius II. With Valentine, I feel there is a serious piece of work still to be carried out, deciphering the truth from legend in a saint that goes back so many centuries. There is talk of arranging secret marriages, falling in love with his jailors’ daughter, restoring her power of sight, cutting out the symbol of the heart in parchment to teach persecuted Christians that God loved them.”
Emphasising the importance of marriage, Bishop Nulty said, “There’s no greater celebration of beauty than the sacrament of marriage where a couple pledge their unconditional love for one another; where a couple impart the sacrament on one another. And in doing so God becomes the third partner in their marriage.
“Every anniversary carries with it memories of walking up an aisle, making vows, exchanging rings.”
Bishop Nulty also highlighted the importance of marriage and family in the context of the recently launched Synodal Pathway which is being undertaken by the Church in Ireland, and universally. The Accord president said, “May we remember that family for all of us is where the synodal journey begins – a journey of discovery, listening, participation, discerning or coming to know the will of God in our lives.” For the full text of Bishop Nulty’s homily please click here.