Saint Dymphna

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Saint Dymphna

Saint Dymphna is the patron saint of those with mental afflictions, anxiety disorders and victims of incest. Victims of incest and survivors of sexual abuse will also call on her for strength and healing, and many miraculous healings of mental illness have been attributed to her over the centuries. Her feast day is May 15th.

Dymphna, also known as Dimpna, is said to have lived in Ireland in the 7th century. She has been venerated as a saint since at least the 13th century. Her father, a Pagan King named Damon, went mad after his wife died when Dymphna was 13 years old. In his insanity he searched the kingdom over for a woman as beautiful and noble as his late wife until he finally turned his gaze onto his young daughter and made incestuous advances. Dymphna had converted to Catholicism in secret and with the aid of her confessor Priest Gerebernus she fled her father and went to Antwerp. Damon followed Dymphna and upon finding her with Gerebernus he killed the priest and cut off his daughter's head. Dymphna's body was interred at the Church of Gheel where she sought refuge. Many miracles have been reported as emanating from that church.

Dymphna is always shown holding a Bible, indicating her faithfulness to the word of God. A lily indicates that she died as a virgin. The Celtic harp and four leaf clover on the cover of the Bible, along with her green clothing, indicate her Irish origins. spirit workers, and root doctors who are adherents of the Catholic religion call upon Saint Dymphna for treatment of mental illness, recovery from childhood abuse, spiritual tranquility, and protection from evil.

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