Saint Dymphna

by Zilla | May 4th, 2018

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Saint Dymphna

Saint Dym­phna was an Irish princess born in the sev­enth cen­tury to a pagan king and a Chris­t­ian mother. She is the Patron Saint of peo­ple who are suf­fer­ing from men­tal ill­ness and/​or emo­tional stress, ner­vous dis­or­ders, epilep­tics, vic­tims of incest, run­aways, and men­tal health professionals.

I first learned of her from my grand­mother, who suf­fered from depres­sion and who gave me a pocket sized prayer book­let for Saint Dym­phna from the Fran­cis­cian Mis­sion Asso­ciates in New York which fea­tures the image below on its cover. I still have that book­let, well over twenty years after it was given to me. Saint Dym­phna is very dear to me, and her feast day is com­ing up on May 15th.

[cap­tion id=”” align=“aligncenter” width=“133”] Saint Dym­phna Patron of Men­tal & Spir­i­tual Afflictions[/caption]

Dymphna’s Chris­t­ian mother was very beau­ti­ful, and her hus­band, King Damon of Oriel, loved her very much. Saint Dym­phna was raised Chris­t­ian; she was secretly bap­tized by her mother and edu­cated by their priest, Father Gere­ber­nus. Young Dym­phna loved Jesus Christ and promised her­self to Him with a vow of chastity as she began to approach wom­an­hood. Via the National Shrine of Saint Dym­phna, here is what hap­pened soon after:

It was not long, how­ever, until an unex­pected cloud over­shad­owed the happy child­hood of the beau­ti­ful girl. She lost her good mother by death. Many were the secret tears she shed over this bereave­ment, but at the same time she found great com­fort in the Divine Faith which, though she was still of a ten­der age, already had taken deep root.

Dymphna’s father, too, greatly mourned his deceased wife and for a long time con­tin­ued pros­trate with grief. At length he was per­suaded by his coun­selors to seek solace in a sec­ond mar­riage. So he com­mis­sioned cer­tain ones of his court to seek out for him a lady who would be like his first spouse in beauty and char­ac­ter. After vis­it­ing many coun­tries in vain, the mes­sen­gers returned say­ing that they could find none so charm­ing and ami­able as his own lovely daugh­ter, Dym­phna. Giv­ing ear to their base sug­ges­tion, the king con­ceived the evil design of mar­ry­ing Dym­phna. With per­sua­sive and flat­ter­ing words he man­i­fested his pur­pose to her. Dym­phna, as may be expected, was greatly hor­ri­fied at the sug­ges­tion, and asked for a period of forty days to con­sider the pro­posal. She imme­di­ately betook her­self to Father Gere­bran, who advised her to flee from her native coun­try, and since the dan­ger was immi­nent, he urged her to make no delay.

With all speed, there­fore, she set out for the con­ti­nent, accom­pa­nied by Father Gere­bran, the court jester and his wife. After a favor­able pas­sage, they arrived on the coast near the present city of Antwerp. Hav­ing stopped for a short rest, they resumed their jour­ney and came to a lit­tle vil­lage named Gheel. Here they were hos­pitably received and began to make plans for estab­lish­ing their future abode at this place.

The king, in the mean­time, hav­ing dis­cov­ered Dymphna’s flight, was fear­fully angry, and imme­di­ately set out with his fol­low­ers in search of the fugi­tives. After some time, they were traced to Bel­gium and their place of refuge was located. At first, Dymphna’s father tried to per­suade her to return with him, but Father Gere­bran sternly rebuked him for his wicked inten­tions, where­upon he gave orders that Father Gere­bran should be put to death. With­out delay, his wicked retain­ers laid vio­lent hands upon the priest and struck him on the neck with a sword. With one blow of the steel, the head was sev­ered from the shoul­ders and another glo­ri­ous mar­tyr went to join the illus­tri­ous heroes of Christ’s kingdom.

Fur­ther attempts on the part of Dymphna’s father to induce her to return with him proved fruit­less. With undaunted courage she spurned his entic­ing promises and scorned his cruel threats. Infu­ri­ated by her resis­tance, the father drew a dag­ger from his belt and he him­self struck off the head of his child. Rec­om­mend­ing her soul to the mercy of God, the holy vir­gin fell pros­trate at the feet of her insanely rav­ing father. Thus the glo­ri­ous crown of mar­tyr­dom was accorded to St. Dym­phna in the fif­teenth year of her age, on the fif­teenth day of May, between 620 and 640. The day of her death has been assigned as her feastday.

The records of Dymphna’s life and death say that the bod­ies of the two mar­tyred saints lay on the ground for quite some time after their death, until the inhab­i­tants of Gheel removed them to a cave, which was the cus­tom­ary man­ner of inter­ment in that part of the world at the time of the mar­tyr­doms. But after sev­eral years had elapsed, the vil­lagers, recall­ing their holy deaths, decided to give the bod­ies a more suit­able bur­ial. When the work­men removed the heap of black earth at the cave’s entrance, great was their aston­ish­ment to find two most beau­ti­ful tombs, whiter than snow, which were carved from stone, as if by angel hands. When the cof­fin of St. Dym­phna was opened there was found lying on her breast a red tile bear­ing the inscription:

Here lies the holy vir­gin and mar­tyr, Dymphna.”

The remains of the saint were placed in a small church. Later neces­sity obliged the erec­tion of the mag­nif­i­cent “Church of St. Dym­phna,” which now stands on the site where the bod­ies were first buried. St. Dymphna’s relics repose there in a beau­ti­ful golden reliquary.

Mir­a­cles and cures began to occur in con­tin­u­ally increas­ing num­bers. Grad­u­ally St. Dymphna’s fame as patroness of vic­tims of ner­vous dis­eases and men­tal dis­or­ders was spread from coun­try to coun­try. More and more men­tally afflicted per­sons were brought to the shrine by rel­a­tives and friends, many com­ing in pil­grim­ages from far-​distant places. Nove­nas wer made, and St. Dymphna’s relic was applied to the patients. The remark­able cures reported caused con­fi­dence in the saint to grow daily. At first the patients were lodged in a small annex built onto the church. Then grad­u­ally it came about that the patients were place in the homes of the fam­i­lies liv­ing in Gheel. From this begin­ning Gheel devel­oped into a town world-​famed for its care of the insane and men­tally afflicted. An insti­tu­tion, called the “Infir­mary of St. Eliz­a­beth,” which was con­ducted by the Sis­ters of St. Augus­tine was later built for the hos­pi­tal care of the patients. Most of the lat­ter, after some time spent in the insti­tu­tion, are placed in one or other of the fam­i­lies of Gheel, where they lead a com­par­a­tively nor­mal life.

In the town of Geel, Bel­gium, where Saints Dym­phna and Gere­ber­nus were mar­tyred, local peo­ple still con­tinue to pro­vide care for those who travel there seek­ing relief from men­tal ill­ness cen­turies later. Via NCR Online:

In the mid-​14th cen­tury, Geel erected a church in Dymphna’s honor; it was built on the spot where she was buried. Around this time, rumors spread about dis­turbed indi­vid­u­als who were cured upon vis­it­ing Geel. As these accounts cir­cu­lated, peo­ple began bring­ing dis­turbed fam­ily mem­bers, hop­ing for their own mir­a­cle. And many embat­tled souls made it to Geel on their own.

A build­ing con­tigu­ous to St. Dym­phna Church was built to accom­mo­date the trou­bled pil­grims. Soon enough, the capac­ity of this struc­ture was exceeded. Church author­i­ties appealed to the cit­i­zens of Geel, who responded in a way that would even­tu­ally des­ig­nate Geel as “the char­i­ta­ble city”: They wel­comed men­tally ill strangers into their homes.

The Geel com­mu­nity showed remark­able com­pas­sion, par­tic­u­larly for an era when most any sort of psy­cho­log­i­cal aber­ra­tion was viewed as being due to demonic influ­ence or pos­ses­sion. Ronald J. Comer’s Abnor­mal Psy­chol­ogy men­tions the typ­i­cal tech­niques of the time for deal­ing with the psy­cho­log­i­cally aber­rant. Exor­cisms, of course, were per­formed. “Holy water” or “bit­ter drinks” might be admin­is­tered. If these reme­dies failed to pro­duce results, the ensu­ing ther­apy could con­sist of flog­ging, scald­ing, stretch­ing of limbs, or star­va­tion. It was hoped that these extreme mea­sures might expunge the iniquity.

In con­trast to these mea­sures was the Geel way, in which the men­tally ill, who were called “board­ers” instead of “patients,” became a val­ued part of the com­mu­nity. Many of the board­ers helped with agri­cul­tural labor. They were allowed to go about the vil­lage, and some even became reg­u­lars at local tav­erns. Some board­ers stayed in Geel for only a few months; oth­ers stayed for the rest of their lives.

The boarder pop­u­la­tion peaked in the year 1938, when the num­ber reached 3,736. About 1,600 remained by the late 1970s. Geel now has some 500 board­ers and a total pop­u­la­tion of about 35,000.

Via Medelita, here is more infor­ma­tion about how the men­tally ill are cared for in Gheel currently:

These days, board­ers are con­sid­ered wards of the local psy­chi­atric hos­pi­tal, and they have a treat­ment team that checks in on them and drops off med­ica­tions when needed. How­ever, there is no care plan or greater goal given to the fam­i­lies that take them in. They are only told to be as nor­mal as pos­si­ble. Fam­i­lies are unaware of the patient’s diag­no­sis, only know­ing what the patient chooses to tell them, and often times, fam­i­lies are not trained in any way other than what they’ve learned from rel­a­tives, other towns­peo­ple, or past expe­ri­ences. Despite the lack of a treat­ment plan, board­ers are given the secu­rity and sta­bil­ity of being accepted by a whole com­mu­nity, as well as fam­ily and doc­tors, which some say has a heal­ing effect. Peo­ple liv­ing in Geel sim­ply do not look at men­tal ill­ness in the same way that most soci­eties do, and men­tal ill­ness is regarded with zero stigma attached.

Com­pas­sion­ate care for the men­tally ill seems to work out well for the afflicted and the peo­ple of Geel who wel­come them and help them. Divine inter­ven­tion seems a plau­si­ble expla­na­tion for this.

Below is a prayer to Saint Dym­phna, via Our Catholic Prayers:

Good Saint Dym­phna, great wonder-​worker in every afflic­tion of mind and body, I humbly implore your pow­er­ful inter­ces­sion with Jesus through Mary, the Health of the Sick, in my present need. (Men­tion it.) Saint Dym­phna, mar­tyr of purity, patroness of those who suf­fer with ner­vous and men­tal afflic­tions, beloved child of Jesus and Mary, pray to Them for me and obtain my request.

(Pray one Our Father, one Hail Mary and one Glory Be.)

Saint Dym­phna, Vir­gin and Mar­tyr, pray for us.

You can also do a Novena to her, which is a series of prayers last­ing nine days. Via Pray More Nove­nas:

St. Dym­phna Novena Prayers

Day 1 – St. Dym­phna Novena

For Faith

O God, Source of our sal­va­tion, in the midst of a pagan peo­ple, Thou didst enlighten St. Dym­phna by the light of the true faith, which she pro­fessed under the guid­ance of her holy con­fes­sor, Gere­bran, with such con­stance that she suf­fered mar­tyr­dom. Through the inter­ces­sion of these two saints, we beg Thee to strengthen the faith which Thou hast given us, so that by wisely sub­ject­ing our souls to Thy Supreme Author­ity, and by faith­fully con­form­ing our lives accord­ing to our faith, we may honor Thee with our whole heart and soul until the hour of our death. Through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.

Pray the Our Father, Hail Mary, and Glory Be five times

Day 2 – St. Dym­phna Novena

For Hope

Almighty and infi­nitely good God, Thou hast promised eter­nal sal­va­tion to those who obey Thy com­mand­ments and make zeal­ous use of Thy graces. Through the inter­ces­sion of St. Dym­phna, who fled from the dan­ger of sin by leav­ing the palace of her father, and who, eager to gain eter­nal sal­va­tion, fled to Bel­gium to live in poverty, we beg Thee to grant that we also, who are striv­ing for eter­nal hap­pi­ness, may over­come all obsta­cles in the way of virtue and may attain eter­nal sal­va­tion. Through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.

Pray the Our Father, Hail Mary, and Glory Be five times

Day 3 – St. Dym­phna Novena

For Char­ity

God of love, Thou art the most per­fect Being, and Cre­ator of all that is good and beau­ti­ful. Through the inter­ces­sion of St. Dym­phna, who in her youth loved Thee above all crea­tures and for Thy sake loved her neigh­bor as her­self, as the image and like­ness of Thee, as the price of the Blood of Jesus and as co-​heir of heaven, be pleased to help us by Thy pow­er­ful grace, that we may faith­fully ful­fill the two great com­mand­ments of char­ity not only in word, but in action and in truth. Through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.

Pray the Our Father, Hail Mary, and Glory Be five times

Day 4 – St. Dym­phna Novena

For Piety

God, Our Cre­ator and Supreme Mas­ter, St. Dym­phna served Thee with great zeal even in her child­hood, by hear­ing Thy word with delight, by assist­ing at Holy Mass with fer­vent rev­er­ence, and by receiv­ing Holy Com­mu­nion from the hand of St. Gere­bran with ten­der devo­tion. Through her inter­ces­sion we beg Thee to grant us the same virtue of piety so that, hav­ing hon­ored Thee dur­ing this life as our Cre­ator, we may pos­sess Thee here­after as our final reward. Through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.

Pray the Our Father, Hail Mary, and Glory Be five times

Day 5 – St. Dym­phna Novena

For Pru­dence

O God, ruler of the uni­verse, Thou didst allow St. Dym­phna to dis­cover a help­ful means of avoid­ing the evil inten­tions of her father. Through the mer­its of Thy holy ser­vant, be pleased to grant that we may become, accord­ing to the words of Jesus, sim­ple as doves and wise as ser­pents, so that through pru­dent advice and sound judg­ment we may rec­og­nize what we must do to achieve the great work of our sal­va­tion. Through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.

Pray the Our Father, Hail Mary, and Glory Be five times

Day 6 – St. Dym­phna Novena

For Jus­tice

O God, source of eter­nal jus­tice, Thou didst inspire St. Dym­phna to flee from her coun­try and her father in order to ren­der to Thee that which was Thine. Through her inter­ces­sion we beg Thee to make us seek after jus­tice so that we may per­form our duties toward Thee as we ought. Though Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.

Pray the Our Father, Hail Mary, and Glory Be five times

Day 7 – St. Dym­phna Novena

For For­ti­tude

O God, rewarder of those who remain firm in their good res­o­lu­tions, Thou gavest St. Dym­phna such a love of virtue that she had the courage to suf­fer pri­va­tion, per­se­cu­tion, and even mar­tyr­dom. Through her prayers we beg Thee to grant us for­ti­tude that we may coura­geously and per­se­ver­ingly over­come our­selves and finally con­quer the enemy of our sal­va­tion. Through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.

Pray the Our Father, Hail Mary, and Glory Be five times

Day 8 – St. Dym­phna Novena

For Tem­per­ance

O God, You made St. Dym­phna resplen­dent in the virtue of tem­per­ance so that she mas­tered sen­sual incli­na­tions and used tem­po­ral goods pru­dently. With tem­per­ance she com­bined the beau­ti­ful virtues of mod­esty, docil­ity and humil­ity. Let us not for­get that humil­ity is called the foun­da­tion of all virtue because it ban­ishes from the soul pride, the obsta­cle to grace. Through the inter­ces­sion of St. Dym­phna, we beg Thee to guide and direct us, so that being pre­served from evil and ner­vous dis­or­ders, we may obey till death the com­mand­ments and coun­sels Thou hast given us. Through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.

Pray the Our Father, Hail Mary, and Glory Be five times

Day 9 – St. Dym­phna Novena

For Chastity

O God, lover of inno­cent souls, Thou gavest St. Dym­phna the virtue of angelic purity which made her reserved in all her actions, mod­est in her dress, atten­tive in her con­ver­sa­tion, upright in her char­ac­ter, so that she even shed her blood to pre­serve this pre­cious virtue. Through the inter­ces­sion of St. Dym­phna, we beg thee to bestow upon us the virtue of chastity that we may enjoy peace of con­science in this life and pure eter­nal joys of heaven here­after. Through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.

Pray the Our Father, Hail Mary, and Glory Be five times

Please remem­ber those suf­fer­ing from men­tal ill­nesses in your prayers and try to have com­pas­sion for them in your hearts.

*******

MJ Steven­son, AKA Zilla, is best known on the web as Zilla at MareZilla​.com. She lives in a wood­land shack near a creek, in one of those rural parts of New York State that nobody knows or cares about, with her fam­ily and a large pack of guardian com­pan­ion ani­mals.

Saint Dymphna was an Irish princess born in the seventh century to a pagan king and a Christian mother. She is the Patron Saint of people who are suffering from mental illness and/or emotional stress, nervous disorders, epileptics, victims of incest, runaways, and mental health professionals.

I first learned of her from my grandmother, who suffered from depression and who gave me a pocket sized prayer booklet for Saint Dymphna from the Franciscian Mission Associates in New York which features the image below on its cover. I still have that booklet, well over twenty years after it was given to me. Saint Dymphna is very dear to me, and her feast day is coming up on May 15th.

Saint Dymphna Patron of Mental & Spiritual Afflictions

Dymphna’s Christian mother was very beautiful, and her husband, King Damon of Oriel, loved her very much. Saint Dymphna was raised Christian; she was secretly baptized by her mother and educated by their priest, Father Gerebernus. Young Dymphna loved Jesus Christ and promised herself to Him with a vow of chastity as she began to approach womanhood. Via the National Shrine of Saint Dymphna, here is what happened soon after:

It was not long, however, until an unexpected cloud overshadowed the happy childhood of the beautiful girl. She lost her good mother by death. Many were the secret tears she shed over this bereavement, but at the same time she found great comfort in the Divine Faith which, though she was still of a tender age, already had taken deep root.

Dymphna’s father, too, greatly mourned his deceased wife and for a long time continued prostrate with grief. At length he was persuaded by his counselors to seek solace in a second marriage. So he commissioned certain ones of his court to seek out for him a lady who would be like his first spouse in beauty and character. After visiting many countries in vain, the messengers returned saying that they could find none so charming and amiable as his own lovely daughter, Dymphna. Giving ear to their base suggestion, the king conceived the evil design of marrying Dymphna. With persuasive and flattering words he manifested his purpose to her. Dymphna, as may be expected, was greatly horrified at the suggestion, and asked for a period of forty days to consider the proposal. She immediately betook herself to Father Gerebran, who advised her to flee from her native country, and since the danger was imminent, he urged her to make no delay.

With all speed, therefore, she set out for the continent, accompanied by Father Gerebran, the court jester and his wife. After a favorable passage, they arrived on the coast near the present city of Antwerp. Having stopped for a short rest, they resumed their journey and came to a little village named Gheel. Here they were hospitably received and began to make plans for establishing their future abode at this place.

The king, in the meantime, having discovered Dymphna’s flight, was fearfully angry, and immediately set out with his followers in search of the fugitives. After some time, they were traced to Belgium and their place of refuge was located. At first, Dymphna’s father tried to persuade her to return with him, but Father Gerebran sternly rebuked him for his wicked intentions, whereupon he gave orders that Father Gerebran should be put to death. Without delay, his wicked retainers laid violent hands upon the priest and struck him on the neck with a sword. With one blow of the steel, the head was severed from the shoulders and another glorious martyr went to join the illustrious heroes of Christ’s kingdom.

Further attempts on the part of Dymphna’s father to induce her to return with him proved fruitless. With undaunted courage she spurned his enticing promises and scorned his cruel threats. Infuriated by her resistance, the father drew a dagger from his belt and he himself struck off the head of his child. Recommending her soul to the mercy of God, the holy virgin fell prostrate at the feet of her insanely raving father. Thus the glorious crown of martyrdom was accorded to St. Dymphna in the fifteenth year of her age, on the fifteenth day of May, between 620 and 640. The day of her death has been assigned as her feastday.

The records of Dymphna’s life and death say that the bodies of the two martyred saints lay on the ground for quite some time after their death, until the inhabitants of Gheel removed them to a cave, which was the customary manner of interment in that part of the world at the time of the martyrdoms. But after several years had elapsed, the villagers, recalling their holy deaths, decided to give the bodies a more suitable burial. When the workmen removed the heap of black earth at the cave’s entrance, great was their astonishment to find two most beautiful tombs, whiter than snow, which were carved from stone, as if by angel hands. When the coffin of St. Dymphna was opened there was found lying on her breast a red tile bearing the inscription:

“Here lies the holy virgin and martyr, Dymphna.”

The remains of the saint were placed in a small church. Later necessity obliged the erection of the magnificent “Church of St. Dymphna,” which now stands on the site where the bodies were first buried. St. Dymphna’s relics repose there in a beautiful golden reliquary.

Miracles and cures began to occur in continually increasing numbers. Gradually St. Dymphna’s fame as patroness of victims of nervous diseases and mental disorders was spread from country to country. More and more mentally afflicted persons were brought to the shrine by relatives and friends, many coming in pilgrimages from far-distant places. Novenas wer made, and St. Dymphna’s relic was applied to the patients. The remarkable cures reported caused confidence in the saint to grow daily. At first the patients were lodged in a small annex built onto the church. Then gradually it came about that the patients were place in the homes of the families living in Gheel. From this beginning Gheel developed into a town world-famed for its care of the insane and mentally afflicted. An institution, called the “Infirmary of St. Elizabeth,” which was conducted by the Sisters of St. Augustine was later built for the hospital care of the patients. Most of the latter, after some time spent in the institution, are placed in one or other of the families of Gheel, where they lead a comparatively normal life.

In the town of Geel, Belgium, where Saints Dymphna and Gerebernus were martyred, local people still continue to provide care for those who travel there seeking relief from mental illness centuries later. Via NCR Online:

In the mid-14th century, Geel erected a church in Dymphna’s honor; it was built on the spot where she was buried. Around this time, rumors spread about disturbed individuals who were cured upon visiting Geel. As these accounts circulated, people began bringing disturbed family members, hoping for their own miracle. And many embattled souls made it to Geel on their own.

A building contiguous to St. Dymphna Church was built to accommodate the troubled pilgrims. Soon enough, the capacity of this structure was exceeded. Church authorities appealed to the citizens of Geel, who responded in a way that would eventually designate Geel as “the charitable city”: They welcomed mentally ill strangers into their homes.

The Geel community showed remarkable compassion, particularly for an era when most any sort of psychological aberration was viewed as being due to demonic influence or possession. Ronald J. Comer’s Abnormal Psychology mentions the typical techniques of the time for dealing with the psychologically aberrant. Exorcisms, of course, were performed. “Holy water” or “bitter drinks” might be administered. If these remedies failed to produce results, the ensuing therapy could consist of flogging, scalding, stretching of limbs, or starvation. It was hoped that these extreme measures might expunge the iniquity.

In contrast to these measures was the Geel way, in which the mentally ill, who were called “boarders” instead of “patients,” became a valued part of the community. Many of the boarders helped with agricultural labor. They were allowed to go about the village, and some even became regulars at local taverns. Some boarders stayed in Geel for only a few months; others stayed for the rest of their lives.

The boarder population peaked in the year 1938, when the number reached 3,736. About 1,600 remained by the late 1970s. Geel now has some 500 boarders and a total population of about 35,000.

Via Medelita, here is more information about how the mentally ill are cared for in Gheel currently:

These days, boarders are considered wards of the local psychiatric hospital, and they have a treatment team that checks in on them and drops off medications when needed. However, there is no care plan or greater goal given to the families that take them in. They are only told to be as normal as possible. Families are unaware of the patient’s diagnosis, only knowing what the patient chooses to tell them, and often times, families are not trained in any way other than what they’ve learned from relatives, other townspeople, or past experiences. Despite the lack of a treatment plan, boarders are given the security and stability of being accepted by a whole community, as well as family and doctors, which some say has a healing effect. People living in Geel simply do not look at mental illness in the same way that most societies do, and mental illness is regarded with zero stigma attached.

Compassionate care for the mentally ill seems to work out well for the afflicted and the people of Geel who welcome them and help them. Divine intervention seems a plausible explanation for this.

Below is a prayer to Saint Dymphna, via Our Catholic Prayers:

Good Saint Dymphna, great wonder-worker in every affliction of mind and body, I humbly implore your powerful intercession with Jesus through Mary, the Health of the Sick, in my present need. (Mention it.) Saint Dymphna, martyr of purity, patroness of those who suffer with nervous and mental afflictions, beloved child of Jesus and Mary, pray to Them for me and obtain my request.

(Pray one Our Father, one Hail Mary and one Glory Be.)

Saint Dymphna, Virgin and Martyr, pray for us.

You can also do a Novena to her, which is a series of prayers lasting nine days. Via Pray More Novenas:

St. Dymphna Novena Prayers

Day 1 – St. Dymphna Novena

For Faith

O God, Source of our salvation, in the midst of a pagan people, Thou didst enlighten St. Dymphna by the light of the true faith, which she professed under the guidance of her holy confessor, Gerebran, with such constance that she suffered martyrdom. Through the intercession of these two saints, we beg Thee to strengthen the faith which Thou hast given us, so that by wisely subjecting our souls to Thy Supreme Authority, and by faithfully conforming our lives according to our faith, we may honor Thee with our whole heart and soul until the hour of our death. Through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.

Pray the Our Father, Hail Mary, and Glory Be five times

Day 2 – St. Dymphna Novena

For Hope

Almighty and infinitely good God, Thou hast promised eternal salvation to those who obey Thy commandments and make zealous use of Thy graces. Through the intercession of St. Dymphna, who fled from the danger of sin by leaving the palace of her father, and who, eager to gain eternal salvation, fled to Belgium to live in poverty, we beg Thee to grant that we also, who are striving for eternal happiness, may overcome all obstacles in the way of virtue and may attain eternal salvation. Through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.

Pray the Our Father, Hail Mary, and Glory Be five times

Day 3 – St. Dymphna Novena

For Charity

God of love, Thou art the most perfect Being, and Creator of all that is good and beautiful. Through the intercession of St. Dymphna, who in her youth loved Thee above all creatures and for Thy sake loved her neighbor as herself, as the image and likeness of Thee, as the price of the Blood of Jesus and as co-heir of heaven, be pleased to help us by Thy powerful grace, that we may faithfully fulfill the two great commandments of charity not only in word, but in action and in truth. Through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.

Pray the Our Father, Hail Mary, and Glory Be five times

Day 4 – St. Dymphna Novena

For Piety

God, Our Creator and Supreme Master, St. Dymphna served Thee with great zeal even in her childhood, by hearing Thy word with delight, by assisting at Holy Mass with fervent reverence, and by receiving Holy Communion from the hand of St. Gerebran with tender devotion. Through her intercession we beg Thee to grant us the same virtue of piety so that, having honored Thee during this life as our Creator, we may possess Thee hereafter as our final reward. Through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.

Pray the Our Father, Hail Mary, and Glory Be five times

Day 5 – St. Dymphna Novena

For Prudence

O God, ruler of the universe, Thou didst allow St. Dymphna to discover a helpful means of avoiding the evil intentions of her father. Through the merits of Thy holy servant, be pleased to grant that we may become, according to the words of Jesus, simple as doves and wise as serpents, so that through prudent advice and sound judgment we may recognize what we must do to achieve the great work of our salvation. Through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.

Pray the Our Father, Hail Mary, and Glory Be five times

Day 6 – St. Dymphna Novena

For Justice

O God, source of eternal justice, Thou didst inspire St. Dymphna to flee from her country and her father in order to render to Thee that which was Thine. Through her intercession we beg Thee to make us seek after justice so that we may perform our duties toward Thee as we ought. Though Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.

Pray the Our Father, Hail Mary, and Glory Be five times

Day 7 – St. Dymphna Novena

For Fortitude

O God, rewarder of those who remain firm in their good resolutions, Thou gavest St. Dymphna such a love of virtue that she had the courage to suffer privation, persecution, and even martyrdom. Through her prayers we beg Thee to grant us fortitude that we may courageously and perseveringly overcome ourselves and finally conquer the enemy of our salvation. Through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.

Pray the Our Father, Hail Mary, and Glory Be five times

Day 8 – St. Dymphna Novena

For Temperance

O God, You made St. Dymphna resplendent in the virtue of temperance so that she mastered sensual inclinations and used temporal goods prudently. With temperance she combined the beautiful virtues of modesty, docility and humility. Let us not forget that humility is called the foundation of all virtue because it banishes from the soul pride, the obstacle to grace. Through the intercession of St. Dymphna, we beg Thee to guide and direct us, so that being preserved from evil and nervous disorders, we may obey till death the commandments and counsels Thou hast given us. Through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.

Pray the Our Father, Hail Mary, and Glory Be five times

Day 9 – St. Dymphna Novena

For Chastity

O God, lover of innocent souls, Thou gavest St. Dymphna the virtue of angelic purity which made her reserved in all her actions, modest in her dress, attentive in her conversation, upright in her character, so that she even shed her blood to preserve this precious virtue. Through the intercession of St. Dymphna, we beg thee to bestow upon us the virtue of chastity that we may enjoy peace of conscience in this life and pure eternal joys of heaven hereafter. Through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.

Pray the Our Father, Hail Mary, and Glory Be five times

Please remember those suffering from mental illnesses in your prayers and try to have compassion for them in your hearts.

*******

MJ Stevenson, AKA Zilla, is best known on the web as Zilla at MareZilla.com. She lives in a woodland shack near a creek, in one of those rural parts of New York State that nobody knows or cares about, with her family and a large pack of guardian companion animals. 

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