St. Dymphna, holy martyr, wonder-worker, and intercessor for victims of nervous diseases and mental disorders ☦

Holy Martyr and Wonder-Worker Dympha

St. Dympha’s Feast Day is May 15. St. Dymphna (pronounced Deemfna) is known to be the patron Saint of those suffering from insanity, mental illness, nervous disorders, neurological disorders, depression and epilepsy. 

St. Dymphna was the daughter of a pagan king of Ireland, but became a Christian and was secretly baptized. After the death of her mother, who was known for her beauty, her father offered his own hand in marriage to his daughter. However, Dymphna ran away with the assistance of a priest, Gerebernus. Landing in Antwerp, Belgium, they traveled to the village of Gheel, where they lived near a local chapel.

In 650, St. Dymphna’s father found her and renewed his offer of marriage. Realizing that she would never accept him in this way, he demanded that Fr. Gerebernus be killed. Dymphna received a martyr’s crown when her father cut off her head with a sword.

The bodies were placed in coffins and entombed in a cave where they were later found by local Christians. Eventually, the relics of St. Dymphna were buried in the church at Gheel, while St. Gerebernus was buried in Kanten.

In Christian art, St. Dymphna is depicted with a sword in her hand and a devil at her feet. She has been invoked as the patroness against insanity. The church where Dymphna was buried in Gheel (25 miles from Antwerp) was destroyed by a fire in 1489. A new church was consecrated on the same site in 1532 and still stands to this day.

By permission of


Full of Grace and Truth: St. Dymphna the Virgin Martyr

Orthodox Thought for the day: An Orthodox Saint for those suffering mental or nervous disorders

More on St. Dympha 

St. Dymphna, Martyr, in Belgium

Prayer in Honor of St Dymphna:

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. Give those whom I recommend the 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. Through Christ, Our Lord. Amen.


prayer to St. Dymphna for the mentally afflicted

Holy God, we humbly beseech You through Your servant, St. Dymphna, who sealed with her blood the love she bore for You, to grant relief to those who suffer from mental afflictions and nervous disorders, especially (names).  St. Dymphna, helper of the mentally afflicted, pray for the sufferers, (names).  Glory to the Father and to the Son and to the Holy Spirit, both now and ever and unto the ages of ages.  Amen.  Through the prayers of our holy fathers, Lord Jesus Christ our God, have mercy on us and save us, Amen.

icon from St. Dympha

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