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A powerful novena for those living with mental illness


Steven Arenas | CC0

Philip Kosloski - published on 07/20/18

This prayer to St. Dymphna is known for its efficacy.

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According to the World Health Organization, “One in four people in the world will be affected by mental or neurological disorders at some point in their lives. Around 450 million people currently suffer from such conditions, placing mental disorders among the leading causes of ill-health and disability worldwide.”

Mental illnesses affect many of us and many of the people we love. This suffering is difficult to endure and to watch in others. But God is always close to us in our need.

One effective prayer that is often prayed as a novena (for nine consecutive days) is the following prayer to St. Dymphna. She is known as a patron saint of those with mental disabilities and was very familiar with the negative side-effects of such illnesses during her life time.

She is also known as a “wonder-worker” and many who pray to her are grateful for her prompt intercession.

Below is the prayer that many turn to when confronted with mental illness.

Note: Mental illness, like other illnesses, cannot be “prayed away.” The Church understands that health struggles have many causes, that treatments like therapy and medication are often necessary, and that those who suffer aren’t in any way less holy than those who don’t. This is true of mental health as well as physical. While a strong prayer life is always helpful for anyone, healthy or ill, illnesses should be treated appropriately.

Here is the novena prayer to St. Dymphna.

O God, we humbly beseech You
through Your servant, St. Dymphna,
who sealed with her blood
the love she bore You,
to grant relief to those
who suffer from mental afflictions
and nervous disorders, especially …

[Name the mentally afflicted person here.]

Saint Dymphna, helper of the mentally afflicted,
pray for us.

Saint Dymphna, comforter of the despondent,
pray for us.

Saint Dymphna, renowned for many miracles,
please hear my plea.


Glory be to the Father, and to the Son, and to the Holy Spirit, as it was in the beginning, is now, and ever shall be, world without end. Amen.

Prayers for a Particular NeedSaints
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