Saint Valentine of Rome was executed on February 14 around AD 270.
He is most famously known as the patron saint of lovers but he is also considered to be the patron of beekeeping.
When Emperor Claudius II cancelled marriages so as to aid his recruitment of soldiers at a time when he also banned Christian worship, Valentine secretly married couples, which resulted in him being executed before the Prefect of Rome. In 496 Pope Gelasius I named February 14 as Saint Valentines Day.
A Reliquary containing, what is believed to be, the remains of St Valentine were gifted to an Irish Carmelite called John Spratt by Pope Gregory XV1 in 1835. Today the Shrine of St. Valentine in the Church of Our Lady of Mount Carmel, Whitefriar Street, Dublin, is visited by couples. Engaged couples often make their promise of commitment to each other at the Shrine.
On St Valentine's Day the Reliquary is removed from the side-altar and placed before the high altar in the church. At the 11.00 am and 3.15 pm Mass there is a short ceremony for the Blessing of Rings for those about to be married.