Thinking Outside the (Chocolate) Box on Saint Valentine’s Day

World Meeting of Families 2018 is offering free Saint Valentine’s Day Gift Tokens with a difference, for couples to give to their loved ones

Following Pope Francis’ calls to celebrate St. Valentine’s Day in a more meaningful way, the World Meeting of Families 2018 is inviting couples to think beyond the traditional box of chocolates and roses to gifts that will actually help them grow in their love.
• WMOF2018 encourages married couples and single people looking for a spouse to pray for St Valentine’s intercession this 14th February; whose relics rest in Whitefriar Street Church in Dublin.

Dublin, Thursday 9th February 2018.- In his document on The Joy of Love (Amoris Laetitia), Pope Francis refers directly to Saint Valentine’s Day as an opportunity for couples to celebrate the importance of romantic love by gifting their time and attention to one another rather than simply relying on the more commercial approaches to the Saints Day. This is why, as part of the preparations for World Meeting of Families in Ireland in August 2018, the World Meeting of Families 2018 are inviting individuals and couples to “Celebrate the Joy of Love this St Valentine’s Day” and to mark this day in a number of special ways.

WMOF2018 have produced six free gift tokens that people can give to their loved ones and a St Valentine’s flyer with further ideas on how they can mark this special day, including prayers for single people looking for a spouse. The gift tokens are a special gift to celebrate love and help it grow. They include a commitment to:

– Have a technology-free evening to do an activity of your choice.
– Set aside time for prayer together as a couple.
– Go for a hand-in-hand walk together.
– Have a special meal cooked by me.
– Share loads of tender hugs.
– Take a journey down memory lane where we set aside some special time to remember how we met and have grown together.

The tokens are free and are available from Cathedrals across Ireland, the Knock Shrine, in Veritas Shops, Accord Centres and can also be downloaded on the World Meeting of Families 2018 website: www.worldmeeting2018.ie/stvalentinesday

Dublin is blessed to have the reliquary containing the remains of St Valentine in Whitefriar Street Church in Dublin. WMOF2018 are inviting people to visit the shrine and pray through St Valentine’s intercession in regards to people finding love or growing in the love they have already found.

ENDS
Note to the editors:

• The World Meeting of Families will take place in Dublin from 22 to 26 August 2018.

• Pope Francis chose Dublin to host the World Meeting of Families 2018 and gave it the theme: “The Gospel of the Family: Joy for the World”.

• The World Meeting of Families takes place every three years: the most recent took place in Philadelphia in September 2015.

• The event has as its heart three main moments. Firstly, from the 22nd to 24th August, a three-day Congress for all that will entail a joyful and reflective programme of workshops, talks and discussions centered on the main theme; an engaging and exciting programme for young people as well as faith and fun activities for children. This will be followed by a Festival of Families on Saturday 25th August, comprising a special concert style event within a prayerful and joyful atmosphere, in which personal stories of faith will be shared by families representing the five continents of the world. WMOF2018 will close with a solemn Eucharistic Celebration on Sunday 26th August, that will gather thousands of people from Ireland and all over the world. WMOF2018 will include exhibitions, cultural events and musical performances, events around the city, gestures of solidarity with those in need, celebrations and much more.

• In the following months and to help prepare for WMOF2018, a programme of pre-catechesis will be offered to parishes and families based largely on the Apostolic Exhortation Amoris Laetitia (The Joy of Love), encouraging reflection on different aspects of being family in the Church and in the world today.

• The World Meeting of the Families 2018 will attract thousands of Irish and International pilgrims. Successfully hosting this historic event will only be possible with the help of many generous volunteers willing to put their time and talents to the service others. We are seeking volunteers to help us in this task and we invite you to become actively involved! Visit www.worldmeeting2018.ie for more information.
For media information:
• Catholic Communications Office Maynooth: Martin Long 00353 (0) 86 172 7678 and Brenda Drumm 00353 (0) 87 310 4444