It is now home to the Franciscan Oder and is named after Blessed John, born in Duns in the Scottish Borders at the time of William Wallace and Robert the Bruce. It is the only remaining Catholic church in the Gorbals and maintains a tradition of holding a monthly mass in Lithuaninan.
This friary is neither grand nor imposing, but it is home to something no other place of worship in Scotland has. On the left hand side of the light, wood panelled interior is an ornate 3ft wide chest, known as a reliquary. It is gilded with the words ‘Corpus Valentini Martyris’. Inside, shielded from the public by a thick glass pane, are some of the remains of St Valentine.
The reliquary containing the forearm of St Valentine arrived in Glasgow via a donation from a wealthy French Catholic family in 1868. It was kept in St Francis’ Church for over a century before being transferred to its current home in 1993. Though the remains are given a prominent position at the front of the church, it’s also easy to walk right straight past them. St Valentine’s Day, after all, only happens once a year.