This bishops of England and Wales have composed a novena prayer to support single people seeking a spouse ahead of St Valentine’s Day.
The 3rd-century saint’s day is celebrated on February 14, which falls on Sunday, and he is patron of love, young people and happy marriages.
Bishop Mark O’Toole of Plymouth, who coordinates the work of Catholic mission in England and Wales, said: “St Valentine’s Day can be difficult for those who have not yet found their ideal husband or wife. The release of this new prayer aims to remind everyone that God has a loving plan for each one of us and that there is always reason to be hope-filled.
“We know that Christian prayer, sincerely offered, is answered in a way that is always for our ultimate happiness and good. Our prayers can often be answered in ways we didn’t expect, and it’s important to be open to this. Whatever your circumstances, know that you are not alone, that you are loved by God who is full of tenderness, mercy and compassion.”
Bishop O’Toole added: “There is anecdotal evidence to suggest that people often meet through common interests. You are very welcome to visit a Catholic church this weekend to find out more about prayer, and you never know, you might meet someone at church this Sunday. Either way, you’ll find the opportunity to meet new people and experience Christian prayer and fellowship.”
The text of the prayer, which is designed to be said for nine consecutive days, is copied below:
You know that the deepest desire of my heart is to meet someone that I can share my life with.
I trust in your loving plan for me and ask that I might meet soon the person that you have prepared for me.
Through the power of your Holy Spirit, open my heart and mind so that I recognise my soulmate.
Remove any obstacles that may be in the way of this happy encounter,
So that I might find a new sense of wholeness, joy and peace.
Give me the grace too, to know and accept, if you have another plan for my life.
I surrender my past, present and future into the tender heart of your Son, Jesus,
Confident that my prayer will be heard and answered.
Sacred Heart of Jesus, I place all my trust in you.
St Valentine, pray for me.