Valentine’s Day

Updated: Feb 16

From the poetry of Robert Burns to the popular runaway wedding site of Gretna Green, Scotland loves love! Every year that Valentine’s Day rolls around, the country is festooned with the usual hearts and pink and red colours that have become synonymous with the day. Saint Valentine is the patron saint of lovers, as we all could guess from the main celebration of the day. He came to represent lovers as when he was alive, he supposedly performed secret weddings against the wishes of the authorities in the third century. He would do anything for love but he refused defy Christ and so he was martyred on the 14th of February. So I guess he wouldn’t do that. You must then imagine that the remains of this chief protector of love would lie in one of the most romantic places in the world. Which may conjure up images of Paris or Venice or maybe you’re thinking Prague? Well you’d be wrong. Try the Gorbals. That’s right, the bones of St Valentine’s forearm are lying in a church in the Gorbals. But they’re only there after they sat on top of someone’s wardrobe for six years. Don’t be fooled by the rather violent kisses from Glasgow! It just shows we are passionate and loving people. And forgetful. So how did they get there? They were brought to Glasgow by Francisian monks who were impressed by the faith of the locals. His bones were originally taken to St Francis’ Church in 1868 where they were contained before being moved to the former St Luke’s Church in 1993. And now it sits in the entrance of the church of Blessed John Duns Scotus.  The rest of his remains are scattered over Europe, with his skull in Rome and various other pieces of him in Madrid, Dublin and other places. So if you’re looking for a slightly weird and slightly morbid Valentines Day date, you could take them to see “Corpus Valentini Martyris” and impress them with your knowledge. And if you’re single on Valentine’s Day, he is also the patron saint of epileptics. And beekeepers! So even if you’re single on Valentine’s Day, you could just choose to celebrate bees. Everyone loves bees!

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