The story of St Dymphna was recorded in Ireland in the 13th century, based upon longstanding oral tradition. It was said that there was a girl named Dymphna born of a Christian princess and a pagan Irish king. When the princess died, the king was so distraught that he wanted a new wife who was much like his old one; he soon desired his own daughter Dymphna to be his new wife. She fled to Belgium, where the king pursued her and struck her dead in a fit of rage. Tradition holds that after Dymphna’s remains were found, those who suffered from epilepsy and other forms of mental illness were cured by her. Dymphna has become the patron saint of those suffering from mental illness and neurological disorders. Even today, we see so many in own modern society who cannot get adequate access to treatment for mental illness.
Dymphna is a saint that is celebrated in the month of May. We hear today in the psalm – “Bless the Lord, my soul, and all my being, bless his holy name. The Lord blesses us in so many ways, and in return, we wish blessings to him as well. The story of Dymphna is a tragic one, but out of that story comes a message of fidelity, chastity, and perseverance, as well as a message of hope and healing for those suffering from mental illness. We can find blessings from the Lord in many different situations in life, situations both good and bad. May we bless the Lord today, no matter what our circumstance.