Skip to comments.Supplica to Saint Dymphna, Virgin and Martyr
Posted on 02/28/2014 4:44:52 PM PST by mlizzy
I received this morning a heartrending 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.”
Saint Dymphna, the patron saint of mental illness. Bump.
Thanks for the “bump” nickcarraway. However, there’s an echo on this post. :) Hopefully, there are those who are reading the prayer, though. It’s sooooo beautiful; I bring it with me to adoration every day [that I go], and pray, pray, pray. St. Dymphna is a good friend of mine!
There are classes of mentally ill who are in that condition through no fault of their own. There are some mentally ill people who have engaged in no illicit substance abuse. This subject may be broken down by the fact that illicit substance use among the mentally ill is sometimes described, even by legitimate researchers, as "self-medication". The weakness of this approach is that the practice is not medically supervised. (A bipolar/manic-depressive friend of mine who is currently in a locked facility, uses the strongest coffee, something that doesn't help him.) The unsupervised self-administration of psychotropic substances has the accompanying danger of over-use and addiction.
Everyone has "downs" and "blue days" regardless of organic mental illness. Illicit substance use can be defined, in opposition to the "self-medication" belief/excuse, as Self-Induced Mental Illness.
Another distinction worthy to be pursued, involves the fact that some mental illnesses are described as having a fully "organic" cause. This distinction seems to be centered treatment: Some conditions, such as certain obsessive-compulsive cases, can be cured by an antibiotic regimen. Some bipolar/manic-depressive cases can also be shown to have a clearly biologic component. This distinction therefore addresses treatability.
This type of thinking has the limitation, that other cases of mental illness aren't as easily shown NOT to have an organic component. It could lead to the idea, like the old attitude that some poor people are "unworthy", that some mentally ill people are worthy and some are not. (I once had a relative who plainly stated that "people are poor because they want to be that way". This person later became so poor that he was unable to afford to eat or take necessary medications. He later died, alone and without help.) Anyone is capable of undergoing disability. Does the experience of having to wear glasses or take medications help us to identify more closely with the disabled?
This leads into the subject of attitudes, especially prejudices and shame regarding psychological disability. There is a demonstrable tendency to regard mental illness as in some ways a "communicable disease" that should be quarantined, as if all mentally ill people present some kind of danger to the "non-mentally ill".
I once had a small dog which developed cancer. A larger dog would nip at the small, ill dog. The little dog dug a little escape area under the foundation of the house where it could escape the harassment of the larger dog. The explanation of the behavior seems to be that in dog pack-society, an ill dog must be fed and cared for; the "pack" has a tendency to chase away the ill, non-productive member.
This bears on the subject of utilitarianism, an actual philosophy of ruthless exclusion of dependent disabled people which fails to recognize their intrinsic worth as persons with immortal souls created in the Image and Likeness of God.