Saint Valentine has an Irish connection - why wouldn’t he?
Here we are in the midst of the High Holy season of love, St. Valentine’s Day. Did you know that St. Valentine was martyred on Feb 14th back in the 4th Century. It’s not clear why but he has been associated with “courtly love” since then. Maybe there was something going on and social media or hacking wasn’t there to dig into the details like we can now - aren’t we lucky??!.
The Irish connection? Well “relicts” of the saint are buried at the Whitefriar Church in Dublin.
By blackfish - Own work, CC BY-SA 3.0, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=16607748
It is said that couples will go in there and say a prayer to St. Valentine to strengthen their love for each other. Cheaper than therapy and what harm could a trip to Dublin be for you anyway! You don’t even want to know that his head is still in Rome according to Wikipedia. I kid you not.
In the day of seeking romance or even love, the Irish did use matchmakers. It still is alive and well at the Ballybunion Bachelor Festival in Co Clare which is held each September. You could go there on your way back from the Cliffs of Moher. It used to be well known for single older farmer types looking for a wife (or at least somebody to take care of them) would show up in Ballybunion at the end of the summer when the hay was saved.
They’d drop a few shillings with a matchmaker who would do the introduction and hopefully love and marriage would ensue. And apparently it did quite often.
Which reminds me about the story about the “auld fella” who was filling out his application for Social Security. He was going through it line by line; his name and address and his age and he added a few years to his age and them came across the question about sex/gender. He thought for a minute and wrote down: ”once in Ballybunion...:”!
Now maybe if you’ve bought from us once it is time to come back and try it again. Getting something unique, beautifully made, and with symbolic meaning for your Valentine can be wonderful. Surprise him or her! Who wouldn’t want to be reminded that they are your soul mate with an anam cara bracelet? Or a Celtic knot to show your never ending love. And of course the many beautiful things Claddagh or warm woollens -- all great gifts of gra (love) for your Valentine!
Don’t worry - the return address will not be Ballybunion…..
Happy Valentine’s Day! Slan go foill until next time
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