St. DymphnaPatron of Mental & Spiritual Afflictions
St. Dymphna (d. 620), according to tradition, was born the daughter of Damon, a pagan king of Ireland. Early in her life she became a Christian, and was secretly baptized. When she was only fifteen years of age her mother died, and her father was wrought by terrible grief. He sent messengers throughout his own town and other lands to find another to be his wife, only none could be found. He proposed to his daughter that they marry, only she refused.
Dymphna fled from her father's castle with St. Gerebran, her confessor, and two other friends. Their boat landed in Gheel, Belgium. Damon found them in Belgium, due to tracing her spending of foreign currency, and proposed his offer once again. At this, Gerebran rebuked the king for his proposition and urged Dymphna to remain in opposition. At this, Damon ordered his servants to behead the priest. When she persisted in her refusal, he drew his sword and struck off her head.St. Dymphna received the crown of martyrdom in defense of her purity about the year 620.
Shortly after her death, five lunatics wandered to the countryside where she was killed, and slept the night there, only to awaken cured. She has since been invoked as the patron of those suffering from nervous, mental, and Spiritual afflictions . A church was built on this site, only to be destroyed by fire in 1489, and rebuilt in 1532. The church remains to the present day, and has been joined by a house for the mentally ill that often houses as many as fifteen hundred patients.
St. Dymphna's Feast is celebrated on May 15.
Two Shrines are located in the United States:
St. Dymphna DevotionFranciscan FathersP.O. Box 598Mount Vernon, NY 10550-53
National Shrine of St. Dymphna3000 Eric Street SouthP.O. Box 4Massillon, OH 44648-0004
Litany to St. Dymphna
Lord have mercy on us.Christ have mercy on us.Lord have mercy on us.Christ hear us.Christ graciously hear us.God the Father of Heaven, have mercy on us.God the Son, Redeemer of the World, have mercy on us.God the Holy Ghost, have mercy on us.Holy Trinty, One God, have mercy on us.Holy Mary, Virgin Mother of God, pray for us.Health of the sick, pray for us.Comforter of the Afflicted, pray for us.Our Lady, Help of christians, pray for us.St. Dymphna, Virgin and Martyr, pray for us.
St. Dymphna, daughter of royal parents, child of great beauty of soul and body, docile to the lessons of your pious mother, obedient to your saintly confessor, who abandoned the court of your father to escape the danger of impurity, who chose a life of poverty on earth so that you might lay up treasures in Heaven, who sought consolation at Holy Mass, Communion and prayer, ardent lover of the Divine Bridegroom, devoted to the Mother of God, beheaded by your own father, martyr of holy purity, brilliant example of Christian youth, renowned for many miracles, glory of Ireland and Belgium, full of compassion for those in need, protectress against all nervous and mental disorders, and Spiritual afflictions, consoler of the afflicted, friend of the helpless, comforter of the despondent, light of those in mental adn spiritual darkness, patroness of those who suffer with nervous and mental diseases, and Spiritual afflictions, pray for us.
That we may love the lord our God with all our hearts and above all things, that we may hate sin and avoid all occasion of sin, that we may carefully preserve the virtue of purity to our state, that we may recieve the sacraments frequently, that we may obtain the spirit of prayer that we may be humble and obedient resigning ourselves to God's holy will, that we may learn to have confidence in God during our afflictions, that we may obtain the grace of final perseverance, in moments of temptation, in times of sickness, disease, war, and persecution, in our last illness, and at the hour of our death.
Lamb of God, Who takest away the sins of the world, spare us O LordLamb of God, Who takes away the sins of the world, graciously hear us O Lord.Lamb of God, Who takest away the sins of the world, have mercy on us.
Pray for us Saint Dymphna, that we may be made worthy of the promises of Christ
Let us Pray:
O God, since you gave St. Dymphna to your Church as a model of all virtues, especially holy purity, >and willed that she should seal her faith with her innocent blood and perform numerous miracles, grant that we who honor her as patroness of those afflicted with mental illness, emotional problems, and Spiritaul afflictions, may continue to enjoy her powerful intercession and protection abd attain eternal life. Through christ our Lord. Amen.
Prayer to St. Dymphna
Lord, our God, you graciously chose St. Dymphna as patroness of those afflicted with mental and nervous disorders and Spiritual afflictions. She is thus an inspiration and a symbol of charity to the thousands who ask her intercession.
Please grant, Lord, through the prayers of this pure youthful martyr, relief and consolation to all suffering such trials, and especially those for whom we pray. (Here mention those for whom you wish to pray).
We beg you, Lord, to hear the prayers of St. Dymphna on our behalf. Grant all those for whom we pray patience in their sufferings and resignation to your divine will. Please fill them with hope, and grant them the relief and cure they so much desire.
We ask this through Christ our Lord who suffered agony in the garden. Amen.