Catholic Bishops have issued a prayer to help singletons find love this St Valentine’s Day whilst the taxman is encouraging couples who have already found their soulmates to avail of a tax break they may not know is available to them.
The Catholic Church in England and Wales has published a new prayer to provide hope to those who have yet to meet their husband or wife.
Meanwhile, HM Revenue and Customs (HMRC) is warning thousands of married couples and civil partners in Northern Ireland are missing out on the chance to pay less tax.
The Church says the prayer should be said for nine days as ‘A Novena,’ a Catholic prayer offered to obtain special graces, to implore special favours, or to make special Petitions to God.
Rt Rev Mark O’Toole 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.”
For married couples on the other hand, HMRC says almost 70,000 eligible couples can still apply for Marriage Allowance, boosting the average family’s finances by £212 each year to help with bills or pay for a Valentine’s Day treat.
HMRC has simplified the process to apply and couples can apply online at gov.uk/marriage-allowance in a matter of minutes. Couples will be given up to four years to claim backdated annual allowances to ensure as many as possible do not miss out.
Ruth Owen, Director General, Personal Tax, HMRC, said: “Show your spouse you love them by applying for Marriage Allowance! A cash boost is always welcome, and whether you use it to treat your loved one to a romantic dinner, put it towards a cosy weekend break or just help pay the bills, Marriage Allowance means couples in Northern Ireland can save £212 on their tax bill every year. So, don’t lose out – claim today.”
There follows a copy of the Catholic Churche’s St Valentine’s Day prayer for love.
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.
Sacred Heart of Jesus, I place all my trust in you.
St Valentine, pray for me.