St. DymphnaSt. Dymphna was the daughter of a Celtic chieftain, Damon, and his beautiful wife, a devoted Christian. Damon loved and admired his holy wife, who was popular and beloved amongst their people. She raised Dymphna as a Christian. In her spiritual development, Dymphna had a friend and confidant, an elderly priest named, Gerebran.

Tradition tells this story of Dymphna’s martyrdom: When she was fourteen, her mother died. Her father, Damon, fell into a state of mental illness brought on by grief from his wife’s passing. To help bring Damon out of his grief and illness, his advisers recommended he find another wife.

A search began to find another righteous, noble, and beautiful woman who would consent to marry Damon. Unfortunately no one could be found and Damon goaded by evil advisers to marry his daughter, Dymphna because she was as pure and beautiful as her mother. Horrified by the idea of this union, Dymphna vehemently refused and fought off her insanity-ridden father. With the assistance of her priest, Gerebran, Dymphna fled the castle and headed across the sea to Belgium. Damon found them in Gheel and had Gerebran beheaded.

The mad chieftain again attempted to persuade her to return with him to Ireland. Again Dymphna refused. In a fit of rage, Damon drew his sword and cut off Dymphna’s head. Dymphna was fifteen years old. Circa 620, Dymphna received the crown of martyrdom in defense of her purity and chastity.

In Gheel, Belgium, the spot where Dymphna and Gerebran were murdered has become a holy shrine. Fragments of two sarcophagi and a block bearing Dymphna’s name are at the shrine. Countless miracles have taken place at this shrine and as the result of invocations to St. Dymphna. A fire destroyed an old church of St. Dymphna in Gheel in 1489. A new church was consecrated in 1532 and still stands.

Dymphna is the patron saint of those suffering from mental and emotional illnesses, and sometimes referred to as the Patroness of Abuse and Incest Victims. Highly successful treatment centers for the emotionally disturbed and fraternities are named for St. Dymphna.

St. Dymphna’s Feast Day is May 15. Every year on her feast day and on the Tuesday after Pentecost, pilgrims visit her shrine in Gheel. In art, Dymphna is often depicted with a sword in her hand and a fettered devil at her feet. St. Dymphna is an encouragement to all who face and deal with emotional and mental illness, stress, tension, frustration, abuse and incest. As a victim of one possessed by insanity, Dymphna remained faithful to her beliefs, her purity, and her love for God and Jesus Christ.

Prayers to St. Dymphna are potent and have been proven to result in miracles, because she is a powerful intercessor for those who invoke her help and guidance.

Get our inspiring content delivered to your inbox every morning - FREE!


  1. St. Dymphna please pray for my grandson, He was in college when he developed a menal illness and has been in and out of hospitals since onset about 2 years ago. He has now become well enough to return home to his loving family.

    Please pray for the miracle of his complete healing. He is a beautiful, loving, very intelligent young man, who if granted this miracle of complete healing would most likely become a healer himself.

    He was in the process of working towards his degree to become a scientist, because his desire is to cure a disease.

    Please pray for a miracle that he have complete and total healing and can return to school, become a scientist and work towards his goal of healing. Please pray that he is able to live a normal life with a loving family and a love of God.

  2. Please pray for my two sons (eldest and youngest) both suffering from mental illness and not able to work at present. Their father left us when they were still very young and hae faced many hardships and rejections. Please pray for healing of heart, spirit and body so they can lead a normal life. Thank you

  3. Please dear saint,pray for healing and deliverance of my brother,s wife who is insane and pray for her daughters to be able to get husbands without their mum being a barrier,pray for me my daughter for purity and virtues,pray also for our youths in various institutions of higher learning,to love God,pursue things that glorify God in their lives,Amen

  4. Please pray for all the young girls who are being abused by their own family.
    Pray for the healing of their hearts and strength to continue growing up even after going through the horror of abused. Please also pray that there are more and more people who will help and protect abused children. Amen.

  5. Please, I need help from my mental and emotional illness. I suffer from physical symptoms of anxiety and breathing problems which I am praying are related to the anxiety. In Jesus’ name I pray. Amen.


Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here