The Bishops’ Conference of England and Wales has urged people to come to Mass this Sunday (Valentine’s Day) for the opportunity to meet their soulmate.
And the bishops have published a prayer for Valentine’s Day for those looking for love urging God to “remove any obstacles that may be in the way” “so that I might find a new sense of wholeness, joy and peace”.
Bishop of Plymouth, Mark O’Toole, said there is anecdotal evidence people meet their future spouse through shared interests, such as going to Mass. “You never know, you might meet someone at church this Sunday,” he said in a statement.
The prayer, for those seeking a spouse, calls on the Lord to provide “the person that you have prepared for me” and enable the person praying to "surrender my past, present and future into the tender heart of your Son, Jesus".
Singles are encouraged to say the prayer daily for nine days in the Catholic tradition of a Novena – offered to obtain special graces, to implore special favours or to make special petitions to God.
The bishops said it is their wish that the prayer will provide hope to those who are yet to meet their husband or wife.
Bishop O’Toole, 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.”
St Valentine is the Patron of love, young people, happy marriages, plague and epilepsy. He is a third-century Roman saint whose life and holiness is celebrated on 14 February.
Prayer for those seeking a spouse
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.