Table of Contents
- Birth: 7th Century, Ireland
- Location: Ireland
- Death: 650 AD, Geel, Belgium
- Beatification: N/A (Before the Congregation for the Causes of Saints)
- Canonized: 1247
- Feast Day: May 15
- Patron Saint of: nervous disorders, mental disease, depression, and domestic abuse
St. Dymphna is the patron saint of the mentally ill, victims of incest and domestic abuse, and runaways. She inspires us to be resilient against the evils of the world and that God will never forsake us despite any evil we might suffer.
She was born in Ireland in the seventh century, to a pagan king and a Christian mother. Her mother died when she was 14, and her father attempted to marry the young Dymphna. At the advice of her priest, Dymphna fled, ending up in a town called Geel, in present day Belgium.
While there, and attempting to evade her father, she built a sanctuary for the sick. Her father found her eventually and brutally beheaded her.
Saint Dymphna is said to have miraculously cured the mental, emotional, and neurological afflictions of pilgrims to her burial site in Geel. Based on these miracles and the story of her martyrdom, she was canonized in 1247.
She continues to intercede for the residents of Geel, where people diagnosed with mental disorders still come to be treated. The sanctuary overflowed with guests to the point that townspeople had to start taking people in their own homes. Thus began a tradition that has endured for over 500 years. To this day, people are still welcomed into the homes of Geel’s residents as ‘boarders’ and integrated members of the community.
Devotion to St. Dymphna
Dymphna’s body was buried in Geel, where it became a site of pilgrimage, and she was canonized as a saint in 1247, following the numerous miracles and healings that took place there. Today, there are many churches and shrines dedicated to her, including one of the most iconic, St. Dymphna in Geel, Belgium. She is also invoked in the exorcism rite, as she is believed to have the power to heal those who are afflicted with spiritual illness.
St. Dymphna Prayers
St. Dymphna is a powerful intercessor for those who are struggling with mental health challenges. She is known for her bravery and devotion to God, and has the power to heal those who are suffering from mental illness.
If you are feeling sad or distressed, you can say simple prayers like:
Calling on St Dymphna
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 from 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.)
A Prayer Entrusting A Loved One To The Intercession Of St. Dymphna
Saint Dymphna, Virgin and Martyr, pray for us.
Lord Jesus Christ,
You have willed that St. Dymphna should be
invoked by thousands of clients as
the patroness of nervous and mental disease,
and have brought it about that her interest
in these patients should be an inspiration to
and an ideal of charity throughout the world.
Grant that through the prayers of this
youthful martyr of purity, those who suffer
from nervous and mental illness everywhere
on earth may be helped and consoled.
I recommend to You in particular
(Here mention those you wish to pray for).
Be pleased to hear the prayers of
St. Dymphna and of your Blessed Mother
Help of the sick and Comforter of the afflicted,
on behalf of those whom I recommend to the
love and compassion of Your Sacred Heart.
Give them patience to bear with their affliction and resignation to do Your divine will.
Give them the consolation they need and especially the cure they so much desire, if it be Your will.
May we all serve Your suffering members with a charity which may merit for us the reward of being united forever in Heaven with You, our Divine Head, who lives and reigns with the Father in the unity of the Holy Spirit forever.
I turn to you, dear virgin and martyr, confident of your power with God and of your willingness to take my cause into your hands.
As patroness of the nervous and emotionally distressed, I firmly hope that through your kind intercession He will restore my lost serenity. Please gain for me the grace that He may expel from my soul the evil spirt of depression, hatred, fear and any other negative forces that may dwell within. May He speak to my heart and reassure me: “My peace I give you. Let not your heart be troubled nor let it be afraid.”
Pray for me, dear St. Dymphna, that my nervous and emotional turmoil may cease, and that I may again know serenity and personal peace. In Jesus’ name I pray, Amen.
- St. Dymphna’s Church (Geel)
- St. Dymphna’s Disciples
- Catholic Institute for Mental Health Ministry at University of San Diego