POPE Francis is inviting people to celebrate St Valentine's Day.
In his document on The Joy of Love (Amoris Laetitia), Pope Francis refers directly to St Valentine's Day as an opportunity to make the most of traditional religious practices, invite couples to grow in love and help their children to prepare for their future married life.
As part of the preparations for World Meeting of Families in Ireland in August 2018, organisers are also inviting people to mark February 14this St. Valentine’s Day in a special way.
Dublin has been chosen by the Pope to host WMOF2018. Started by Saint John Paul II, and held every three years, this major world event celebrates family as the cornerstone of our lives, and the fundamental building block of society and the Church.
Families and others from all over the world will gather in Dublin from August 22-26 to celebrate their lives together, to share their experiences from different parts of the world, to reflect on the different challenges they face and to grow together in faith.
The event will consist of a joyful and reflective programme of workshops, talks and discussions for adults; an engaging and exciting programme for young people as well as faith and fun activities for children.
Now, the WMOF2018 office has prepared flyers with ideas on how to mark St Valentine's Day and gift tokens that people can give to their loved ones.
These are available in each Cathedral across Ireland, Veritas Shops and Accord centres and can also be downloaded from the WMOF2018 website: www.worldmeeting2018.ie
The tokens include: a technology-free evening to do an activity of your choice; set aside time for prayer, go for a hand-in-hand walk together; a special dinner cooked by me, loads of tender hugs; a journey down memory lane: take time to remember how we met and have grown together; pray together as a couple.
A reliquary containing the remains of St Valentine is in Whitefriar Street Church in Dublin. People can visit the shrine and pray through his intercession for their intention in regard to finding love or growing in the love they have already found.
:: People can subscribe to the WMOF2018 newsletter to receive the latest updates on preparations for World Meeting of Families 2018 by email www.worldmeeting2018.ie/contact and follow on www.facebook.com/wmof2018 and Twitter www.twitter.com/wmof2018.