Hi Everyone and a very Happy Valentines Day from the Emerald Isle! As we all know, the Irish connection spreads far and wide. But did you know that the final resting place of St.Valentine is right here in Dublin city?
St.Valentine-The Irish Connection
The Carmelite Church on Whitefriar Street in Dublin city dates back to the early 1800s. It is a true hidden gem in Ireland’s capital and houses many shrines including one to the patron saint of love, St.Valentine.
So why a shrine to St.Valentine in a Dublin Church? Because here lie the remains of the saint! Pope Gregory XVI gave the gift of the remains to the church in 1836 following a visit to Rome by the Carmelite priest, Father John Spratt. Every Valentines Day, engaged couples attend a mass there which also includes a blessing of rings.
And while we’re on the subject of rings, there’s nothing more romantic than Ireland’s favorite piece of jewelry, The Claddagh Ring. The story is often told but I think it definitely bears repeating today of all days
The Story of The Claddagh Ring
Claddagh, from the Irish Cladach meaning “the shore”, is situated in Galway city where the River Corrib and Galway Bay meet. It was formerly a thriving fishing village located just outside the old city walls. It’s origins date back to the 5th century.
There are many tales associated with the origins of the Claddagh ring. This is Ireland after all! But the most widely reported story concerns a certain Richard Joyce.
According to Irish legend, Richard Joyce, a native of Galway, was captured and sold to slavery in Algiers where he was taught his craft by a Moorish goldsmith. William III, the then king, sent an ambassador to Algiers who arranged the release of all British prisoners. Richard Joyce was one of those prisoners. He was finally released after 14 years and returned to his home place where his sweetheart awaited him. While in captivity, he had made what we now know as the Claddagh Ring especially for her. The heart symbolized love, the hand’s friendship and the crown loyalty.
If you want to show your love, loyalty and friendship to a special someone then you won’t go far wrong with our 5 star customer favorite Connemara Marble silver Claddagh ring (pictured above). The craftsmanship is exquisite and it features a polished heart of Ireland’s iconic ancient gemstone.
That’s all for this week. Happy Valentines Day to all!
Slán go fóill!