This Church in Prague Contains a Piece of the Real-Life St. Valentine

St. Valentine prague

Valentine’s Day is celebrated in many countries throughout the world, but did you know that one Prague church has an extra-special connection to the holiday?

The Basilica of St. Peter and St. Paul, located in the complex of the Vyšehrad fortress, is one of the Czech capital’s most prominent churches alongside Prague Castle’s St. Vitus Cathedral.

Located atop the hill in Vyšehrad, the neo-gothic church is not only a prominent fixture in the central Prague skyline, but also the resting place of many famous Czechs, including author Karel Čapek and composer Antonín Dvorák.

But the church also claims to be the final resting place of at least part of another very famous figure: Saint Valentine himself.

In 2002, while sorting through the basement at the Basilica, members of the church stumbled upon several relics, one of which was labeled as the shoulder blade of St. Valentine.

It is believed to have been brought to Prague in the 1300s by Holy Roman Emperor Charles IV, who lived in Vyšehrad, the castle that houses the church. St. Valentine’s bone is now on permanent display and celebrated with a mass every February 14th.

But does the shoulder blade really belong to Saint Valentine?

Determining legitimacy is especially hard when it comes to relics of St. Valentine. There were a number of Catholic saints known as Valentine, and many years passed between their deaths and the distribution of their bones to churches around the world.

At least two of the saints Valentine lived in Italy in the late 3rd century, and another in North Africa around the same time.

While the February 14th holiday celebrates the 3rd-century Saint who covertly married couples and advised husbands to stay with their wives in Italy during wartime, there have been no less than 11 other Saint Valentines since.

Today, there are no fewer than 10 places claiming to house relics of St. Valentine around the world, including the Basilica of Santa Maria in Rome, Roquemaure Church in France, and Whitefriar Street Church in Dublin.

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