By Sarah Mac Donald - 14 February, 2017
A couple who met while travelling around Australia and are planning to marry next year will receive a special blessing for the feast of St Valentine at the saint’s shrine in Dublin today.
Carol Dignam from Kilcock, Co Kildare and Tim Boylan from Foxrock in Dublin will be blessed by Bishop Denis Nulty at the Church of Our Lady of Mount Carmel on Dublin’s Whitefriar Street.
The couple met in Bundaberg in Australia and are planning to marry in St Coca’s Church in Kilcock in the Diocese of Kildare and Leighlin in 2018.
Carol works for Deloitte in Learning and Professional Education and Tim is a restaurant manager in Dun Laoghaire.
The St Valentine’s Day blessing will coincide with the release by Accord, the Catholic Marriage Care Service, of its figures for 2016 on marriage preparation and for marriage and relationship counselling.
Bishop Nulty, who is the president of Accord, will highlight what trends the figures indicate.
Last year’s figures showed that social media and texting posed a greater problem in relationships than infidelity.
However, the greatest cause of problems in relationships in 2015 (58 per cent) was the issue of communication and “not listening to or ignoring” a partner, as well as “anxiety/stress”.
The Carmelite Church on Whitefriar Street is the last resting place of St Valentine.
The saint, a priest in ancient Rome, is regarded as the patron saint of couples in love, couples preparing for marriage, and married life.
According to tradition, St Valentine was martyred on 14 February 250 AD.
In 1836, relics that were exhumed from the catacombs of Saint Hippolytus on the Via Tiburtina, near Rome, were identified with Saint Valentine.
These relics were placed in a casket, donated by Pope Gregory XVI, and transported to Whitefriar Street in Dublin where they continue to be venerated by the faithful to this day.