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In the 300 A.D. era, the Roman Emperor decreed that no marriages should take place on the grounds that unmarried males made better soldiers. Valentine, a priest, ignored the decree and married young lovers.  He was arrested, beaten with clubs and sentenced to death.  He refused to denounce his faith and converted his judge to Christianity.  Before his death by beheading, he wrote a letter to the judge’s daughter and signed it “Your Valentine.”  This was February 14, 290 A.D. 

In 1835, an Irish priest, Fr. Spratt, visited Rome to preach.  Pope
Gregory XVI was so impressed that he made him a gift of St. Valentine’s remains, and in 1836 he was brought to Whitefriar St. Church.  His relics are placed in a specially designed altar and shrine with a carved statue depicting the Saint holding a crocus plant, the symbol of Spring.

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