I received this morning a heart–rending request for prayers to Saint Dymphna on behalf of a woman who has been suffering from mental illness for many years. Although I cannot reveal the details of the request, I would ask my dear readers, of their charity, to say the following prayer to Saint Dymphna for this suffering handmaid of God.
O glorious Saint Dymphna,
virgin martyr and chaste bride of Christ,
child of Ireland,
bereft of thy mother,
object of thy grief-stricken father’s unlawful desires,
pure dove who, to preserve thy purity, didst fly to foreign shores,
dauntless follower of the immolated Lamb,
willing exile from thy homeland,
spiritual daughter of the holy priest Gerebernus,
traveler through the dark of unknown forests,
treasure hidden in the shadow of Saint Martin,
lover of solitude and living sanctuary of ceaseless prayer,
compassionate handmaid of the poor and afflicted,
thou art no stranger to suffering.
O virgin nourished by the Bread of Life,
virgin strong in thy weakness,
virgin ablaze with the fire of the Holy Ghost,
victim of thy demented father’s cruel rage,
victim with the Immaculate Host,
victim mingling thy blood with the Blood of the Lamb,
turn thy gaze upon us who seek thy intercession today,
and hearken to our supplications.
Thy name, O Saint Dymphna, is spread abroad in the churches of Christ,
where the suffering faithful invoke thee
as the friend of exiles and of those in flight from persecution,
as the unfailing advocate of the mentally ill, the emotionally distraught, and the despondent,
as the light of those in the darkness of depression,
the hope of the hopeless,
the cheer and comfort of the sorrowing,
the deliverer of those in the grip of anxiety,
the courage of those stricken with panic,
the healer of confused minds,
and the solace of grieving hearts.
Confident in thy powerful intercession,
we beseech thee, Saint Dymphna
to comfort all who, burdened by mental anguish or confusion,
struggle daily to make their way in this valley of tears.
Give them a garland for ashes,
the oil of joy for sadness,
and a garment of praise for the spirit of grief.
Let no one who seeks thy help today go away empty,
for thou art powerful over the heart of Christ,
and He will heed thy pleading on our behalf
with the healing of darkened minds,
the consolation of broken hearts,
and the gracious manifestation of His merciful goodness towards all. Amen.
Update: The response to this post has been very moving. I wonder how many people have joined in prayer to Saint Dymphna today. One person, in great mental suffering and tempted against hope, wrote begging to be remembered in our prayers. Someone else wrote: “I have a cousin, a really lovely person, who suffered severely from mental illness and spent most of her life from the age of eighteen in and out of mental hospitals. If she didn’t spend all year in hospital, it would be at least most of it. I did the Precious Blood novena for her for the month of July two years ago and towards the end of August , she rang me one morning, she had just received a letter discharging her from the mental health service after 31 years. She has had no relapses, is working in a charity shop and is doing great. There was no hope for her, both she and her family were told she would always be in care. I hope this gives some hope to the person concerned and their family.”