Valentine Message from Fr Tim Bartlett, Secretary General for the World Meeting of Families
14th February 2018
Message from Fr Tim Bartlett, Secretary General for the World Meeting of Families
16th February 2018

The World Meeting of Families is inviting couples to share special tokens of love with a difference for Saint Valentine’s Day this year. Following Pope Francis’ calls to celebrate Saint Valentine’s Day in a more meaningful way, WMOF2018 is inviting couples to think beyond the traditional box of chocolates or bunch of flowers to tokens of real affection that will actually help them grow in their love.

In his document Amoris Laetitia (The Joy of Love), 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 saint’s day. This is why, as part of the preparations for World Meeting of Families in Ireland in August, 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 a book of free gift tokens that people can give to their loved ones. This year’s tokens include invitations to share:

  • A journey down memory lane – taking time to remember how we met
  • A special meal cooked by me
  • A technology free evening together
  • Time together to pray
  • A hand-in-hand walk together


The tokens (above) were introduced last year and proved really popular. They are being offered again this year in English and Irish with two new tokens included.

The WMOF2018 is asking couples to acknowledge how precious their time is together and asking them to pick up a book of tokens and a special card to go with them and to share these simple acts of love and kindness with each other.

WMOF2018 is also inviting people to visit the Shrine of Saint Valentine in Whitefriar Street Church in Dublin and to pray through Saint Valentine’s intercession to grow in the love they have already found. The tokens are free and are available in parishes across the country as part of the WMOF2018 ‘Amoris Let’s Talk Family! Let’s be Family!’ programme

Given that St Valentine’s Day falls on Ash Wednesday this year, it is a good a year as any to think outside the chocolate box!