(Also known as Dympna and Dimpna). Virgin and martyr.
Patron of : mental disorders, neurological disorders, runaways, victims of incest, depression
The earliest historical account of the veneration of St. Dymphna dates from the middle of the thirteenth century. Under Bishop Guy I of Cambrai (1238-47), Pierre, a canon of the church of Saint Aubert at Cambrai, wrote a "Vita" of the saint, from which we learn that she had been venerated for many years in a church at Gheel (province of Antwerp, Belgium), which was devoted to her. The author expressly states that he has drawn his biography from oral tradition.
According to the narrative, Dymphna — the daughter of a pagan king of Ireland — became a Christian and was secretly baptized. After the death of her mother, who was of extraordinary beauty, her father desired to marry his own daughter, who was just as beautiful, but she fled with the priest Gerebernus and landed at Antwerp. Thence they went to the village of Gheel, where there was a chapel of St. Martin, beside which they took up their abode. The messengers of her father however, discovered their whereabouts; the father betook himself thither and renewed his offer. Seeing that all was in vain, he commanded his servants to slay the priest, while he himself struck off the head of his daughter. The corpses were put in sarcophagi and entombed in a cave where they were found later. The body of St. Dymphna was buried in the church of Gheel, and the bones of St. Gerebernus were transferred to Xanten.
This narrative is without any historical foundation, being merely a variation of the story of the king who wanted to marry his own daughter, a motif which appears frequently in popular legends. Hence we can conclude nothing from it as to the history of St. Dymphna and the time in which she lived. That she is identical with St. Damhnat of Ireland cannot be proved. There are at Gheel fragments of two simple ancient sarcophagi in which tradition says the bodies of Dymphna and Gerebernus were found. There is also a quadrangular brick, said to have been found in one of the sarcophagi, bearing two lines of letters read as DYMPNA. The discovery of this sarcophagus with the corpse and the brick was perhaps the origin of the veneration. In Christian art St. Dymphna is depicted with a sword in her hand and a fettered devil at her feet. Her feast is celebrated 15 May, under which date she is also found in the Roman martyrology.
From time immemorial, the saint was invoked as patroness against insanity. The Bollandists have published numerous accounts of miraculous cures, especially between 1604 and 1668. As a result, there has long been a colony for lunatics at Gheel; even now there are sometimes as many as fifteen hundred whose relatives invoke St. Dymphna for their cure. The insane are treated in a peculiar manner; it is only in the beginning that they are placed in an institution for observation; later they are given shelter in the homes of the inhabitants, take part in their agricultural labours, and are treated very kindly. They are watched without being conscious of it. The treatment produces good results. The old church of St. Dymphna in Gheel was destroyed by fire in 1489. The new church was consecrated in 1532 and is still standing. Every year on the feast of the saint and on the Tuesday after Pentecost numerous pilgrims visit her shrine. In Gheel there is also a fraternity under her name. Text: Catholic Encyclopedia
Prayers Below are from the National Shrine of St. Dymphna
LITANY IN HONOR OF ST.DYMPHNA
Lord have mercy on us.
Lord have mercy on us.
Christ 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 Trinity, one God, have'mercy'on'us.
Holy Mary, Virgin and Mother of God, conceived without sin, pray'for'us.
St. Dymphna, pray'for'us.
St.Dymphna,noble by birth but more noble in virtue, pray'for'us. St.Dymphna,docile to the lessons of your pious mother, pray'for'us. St.Dymphna,obedient to your saintly confessor, Gerebran, pray'for'us. St.Dymphna,who abandoned the court of your father, to escape the danger of impurity, pray'for'us. St. Dymphna,who chose a life of poverty on earth so that you might lay up Treasure in Heaven, pray'for'us. St.Dymphna, who sought consolation in prayer and devout attendance of Holy Mass, pray'for'us. St.Dymphna, brilliant example of Christian youth, pray'for'us. St. Dymphna,who died a martyr, beheaded by your own father, pray'for'us. So that we may carefully preserve the virtue of chastity according to our state by avoiding all dangerous occasions of sin. pray'for'us. So that we may persevere in our Faith, pray'for'us. So that we may learn to have confidence in the Lord during our afflictions, pray'for'us. So that we may obtain the spirit of prayer, the source of all graces, pray'for'us. So that we may love our Lord and God with all our hearts and above all things, pray'for'us. So that we may receive the grace of final perseverance, pray'for'us. St.Dymphna, Patroness of Gheel, pray'for'us. St.Dymphna,Protectressagainst all nervous disorders, pray'for'us. St. Dymphna, renowned for many miracles,particularly in Gheel, pray'for'us. In monents of emptation, pray'for'us. In times of contagious diseaseds, in time of war and persecution against the faith, pray'for'us. In our last illness, pray'for'us. At the hour of death, pray'for'us. Lamb of God, who takest away the sins of the world, Spare'us,'O'Lord.
Lamb of God, Who takest 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.
Christ hear us, Christ'graciously'hear'us.
Lord have mercy on us,
Our Father Who art in heaven,hallowed be Thy name;Thy kingdom come; Thy Will be done on earth as it is in heaven. Give us this day our daily bread; and forgive us our trespasses as we forgive those who trespass against us; and lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from evil. Amen.
Pray for us, St. Dymphna, That'we'may'be'made'worthy'of'the'promises'of'Christ.
Let Us Pray O God, Who gave St. Dymphna to the infant Church in Brabant as a model perfect in all virtues, and Who ordained that Thy handmaid should seal with her innocent blood and with numerous miracles the teachings of the Gospels for the spread of the true faith, grant we beseech Thee that those especially who honor the Holy Relics may continue to enjoyher powerful protection so that being fortified in faith and gratefully imitating her other virtues may be able to gain a new glory from Thy infinite and supreme majesty, through Christ our Lord. Amen.
9 Day NOVENA to St. Dymphna
First Day Intention ~ Faith O God, Source of our salvation, Who in the midst of a pagan people didst enlighten St. Dymphna by the faith, which she professed under the guidance of her holy confessor, Gereberne, with such constancy that she suffered martyrdom, we beseech Thee through the intercession of these two saints that Thou wouldst deign to strengthen our faith which Thou hast given to us so that by wisely subjecting our souls to Thy Supreme Authority and by faithfully regulating our lives by our faith we may honor Thee with our whole heart and soul until the hour of our death, through Jesus Christ, Our Lord. Amen. Five"times:"Our"Father,"Hail"Mary,"Glory"be"to"the"Father ~~~~~
Second Day Intention ~ Hope O Almighty and Infinitely Good God, Who hast promised eternal salvation to those who obey Thy Commandments and profit by Thy grace, we beseech Thee, through the intercession of St. Dymphna, who fled from the danger of sin by quitting the palace of her father and who hoping thereby to gain eternal salvation fled to Brabant to live in poverty, grant that we also who are striving for eternal happiness may overcome all obstacles in the pathway of virtue and may attain eternal salvation through Jesus Christ, Our Lord. Amen. Five"times:"Our"Father,"Hail"Mary,"Glory"be"to"the"Father
Third Day Intention ~ Charity O God of Love, Most Perfect Being, Creator of All That is Good and Beautiful, deign to help us by Thy powerful grace through the intercession of St. Dymphna, who in her youth loved Thee above all Creatures and loved her neighbor as herself for Thy Sake as the Image and Likeness of Thee, as the price of the Blood of Jesus and as coheir of heaven, so that we may faithfully adhere to the two great commandments of charity not only in word, but in action and in truth, through Jesus Christ, Our Lord. Amen. Five"times:"Our"Father,"Hail"Mary,"Glory"be"to"the"Father ~~~~~
Fourth Day Intention ~ Piety O God, Our Creator and Supreme Master, we beseech Thee through the intercession of St. Dymphna, who served Thee with great zeal even in her childhood, hearing Thy word with great delight, assisting at Holy Mass with great respect, and receiving Holy Communion from the hand of St. Gerebran with tender devotion that Thou wouldst 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 Five"times:"Our"Father,"Hail"Mary,"Glory"be"to"the"Father
Fifth Day Intention ~ Prudence O God, Ruler of the universe, Who allowed St. Dymphna to discover an efficacious means of avoiding the criminal intentions of her father, deign to grant through the merits of Thy Holy servant, that we may become simple as doves and wise as serpents so that through prudent advice and sound judgment we may perceive that which is to be avoided and that which is to be followed in order to happily achieve the great work of our salvation through Jesus Christ, Our Lord. Amen. Five"times:"Our"Father,"Hail"Mary,"Glory"be"to"the"Father ~~~~~
Sixth Day Intention ~ Justice O God, Source of eternal justice, we supplicate Thee through the intercession of St. Dymphna, who in order to render to Thee that which is Thine, fled from her country and her father, that Thou wouldst deign to make us seek after justice so that we may perform rightly our duties toward Thee as we see them, through Jesus Christ, Our Lord. Amen. Five"times:"Our"Father,"Hail"Mary,"Glory"be"to"the"Father ~~~~~
Seventh Day Intention ~ Fortitude O God, rewarder of those who remain firm in their good resolutions, we beseech Thee through the meditation of the merits of St. Dymphna, who through love of virtue had the courage to suffer privation, persecution and even martyrdom, that Thou wouldst grant us fortitude so that we may courageously and perseveringly overcome ourselves and finally conquer the enemy of our salvation through Jesus Christ, Our Lord. Amen. Five"times:"Our"Father,"Hail"Mary,"Glory"be"to"the"Father
Eighth Day Intention ~ Temperance O God, who hast made St. Dymphna resplendent in the virtue of temperance so that she mastered sensual inclination and tempered the use of earthly goods, uniting with this the beautiful virtues of modesty, docility and humility which is called the foundation of all virtue because humility banishes from the soul pride which is an obstacle to grace, we beseech Thee through the intercession of St. Dymphna that Thou wouldst deign to guide and direct us so that being preserved from all nervous disorders we may come to a happy end in the good counsels Thou hast given through Jesus Christ, Our Lord. Amen Five"times:"Our"Father,"Hail"Mary,"Glory"be"to"the"Father ~~~~~
Ninth Day Intention ~ Chastity O God, Lover of innocent souls, Who gave to St. Dymphna the virtue of angelic purity which rendered her reserved in all her actions, so modest in her dress, so attentive in her conversation, so circumspect in her bearing that she shed her blood to preserve this precious virtue, we beseech Thee that Thou bestow upon us the virtue of chastity so that we may enjoy peace of conscience in this life and the pure eternal joys of heaven hereafter through Jesus Christ Our Lord. Amen. Five"times:"Our"Father,"Hail"Mary,"Glory"b