Saturday is the feast of St Valentine, traditionally the patron saint of courtship, engaged couples and happy marriages If you are a single Catholic of any age, and would like to make new friends or maybe meet someone special - you might just find them on one of these sites.
(Of course - if you meet someone through a dating websites, always follow their safety guidelines.)
Catholicmatch.com - The site is international, but has many members based in the UK. Author Michael Rose says: "CatholicMatch.com is a testament to the age in which we live. It is wonderful that Catholics can meet online and possibly be called by God to marriage or even a religious vocation. This is a great example of using God's gift of technology to evangelize and build up Christ's Church." See: www.catholicmatch.com/?hp=1
Catholic Mates – a free, completely on-line, Catholic dating website. www.catholicmates.com/
Catholic Mingle - www.catholicmingle.com/
Catholic Singles - a voluntary organisation which helps single Catholics of all ages, over 18, in England, Scotland, Ireland and Wales, to meet other single Catholics, either one to one or through social events. This friendly site has a welcome in several languages. Catholic Singles are part of a national network of groups for unattached Catholics in cities and towns around the UK. See: www.catholicsingles.org.uk/
The Catholic Unattached Directory - A website for single Catholics which includes internet members and postal members. www.cathud.com/default.asp
Christian Connections - An introduction service for Christians of all denominations. They are celebrating their tenth birthday this year and have introduced many happy couples. See: www.christianconnection.co.uk/
Friends First - A Christian introduction agency based in the Midlands which takes great care with clients of all denominations and has an excellent track record. See: www.friends1st.co.uk/
Knock Marriage Introduction Bureau is one of the most successful Catholic introduction agencies, run by volunteers at the shrine of Our Lady of Knock in Co Mayo. Set up by Fr Michael Keane in 1968, more than 16,000 couples have met through the agency. By 2008 over 1,600 had tied the knot, and we hear there are currently several engagements and 'introductions in progress.'
They say: “ No definite promise can be made that all those who apply to the Bureau WILL find a life partner; but all who register can rely on the Bureau doing its utmost to help them.
For more information, write to The Secretary, Knock Marriage Introductions Bureau, Knock, Co Mayo, Ireland; enclosing an EU stamp; Tel: 094 93 75960 or 094-93 88100; Email firstname.lastname@example.org or see: www.knockmarriagebureau.com/
To learn about social events in your own parish or diocese check the ICN listings and links pages.
Finally - if you have forgotten to post a card - there's still time to send someone an e-Valentine - through: www.catholicgreetings.org/default.aspx