Santuário San Rafael Ascension Catholic church

An independent ministry in the Catholic Tradition


Patron of emotional and mental disorders, runaways, domestic violence, child abuse, sexual abuse, and post-traumatic stress disorder


How to pray the Chaplet of St. Dymphna


This traditional Chaplet consists of a Holy Medal of St. Dymphna and seventeen beads as follows: The Medal and two beads at the beginning, then fifteen beads in the circle. 


Sign of the Cross

Begin with the Sign of the Cross, holding the Holy Medal between your thumb and forefinger.  Touch the medal to your forehead, your chest, your left shoulder and your right shoulder, tracing the sign of the cross on your body.  As you do this say the following prayer: 


(You can use the traditional language or the following formula)


+In the Name of God, Living One, Word, and Spirit.  Amen


On the First Bead, you pray the Our Father:


Our Father who art in heaven, hallowed be thy name.  Thy Kingdom come, thy will be done, on earth as it is in heaven.  Give us this day our daily bread and forgive us our trespasses, as we forgive those who trespass against us, and lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from evil.  Amen. 


Some people, particularly those who have been abused by a father, will be more comfortable with the Our Mother prayer as an alternative.


Our Mother, with us on earth, holy is your name, your true reign come, your will be done, within us, as it is within you.

Give us this day our daily bread, and forgive us our sins, as we forgive those whose sins

have oppressed us, and lead us not into confusion, but enlighten us with your wisdom.  Amen. 


On the second bead, you pray the Hail Mary for the intentions of all Christians.


Hail Mary, full of grace, the Lord is with thee, blessed art thou amongst women, and blessed is the fruit of thy womb, Jesus.  Holy Mary, Mother of God, pray for us* now and at the hour of our death.  Amen.


*traditional text reads Pray for us sinners…



On the 15 beads, you pray 15 Glorias in honour of the 15 years of Saint Dymphna's life.


Glory to you O God, Living One, Word, and Spirit, now and for all ages and aeons.  Amen.*


*the traditional text of the Gloria is “Glory 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.  .”


Novena 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 (Mention the person's name here)
St. Dymphna,helper of the mentally afflicted, pray for us. Amen.  
Closing Prayer

I turn to you, dear martyr St. Dymphna, confident of your power with God and of your willingness to take my cause into your hands.. I firmly hope that through your kind intercession God will restore my lost serenity and peace of mind. May God speak to my heart and reassure me: "My peace I give you. Let not your heart be troubled nor let it be afraid."

Pray for me, dear St. Dymphna, that my nervous and emotional turmoil may cease, and that I may again know serenity and personal peace.  Amen. 



Another Chaplet of

St. Dymphna


To be prayed on a Rosary of Seven Decades (Franciscan Crown)


1.  Sign of the Cross

2.  Our Father on 1st bead

3.  Hail Mary on next 3 beads

4.  Announce the mystery

5.  Pray Our Father AND Hail Mary on next bead.

6.  Pray the Gloria Patri on each of the 10 beads

7. Announce next mystery, pray Our Father AND Hail Mary on the large bead continue with Gloria Patri on each of the 10 beads.


Seven Mysteries, Meditations and Intentions

for the Chaplet of St. Dymphna


1.  St. Dymphna, patron of Emotional Illnesses, grant us balance, comfort, and consolation.  Amen.

2.  St. Dymphna, patron of Mental Illnesses, grant us the grace of insight, healing, peace, and liberation.  Amen.

3.  St. Dymphna, patron of Runaways, grant us the shelter of your love, and the sanctuary of your prayers.  Amen.

4.  St. Dymphna, Patron of those who suffer domestic violence, grant us the courage to love ourselves and the grace to rise above the cycle of abuse.  Amen.

5.  St. Dymphna, Patron of those who suffer child abuse, defend us as an elder sister, and grant us relief and healing from the wounds of the abusive parent.  Amen.

6.  St. Dymphna, patron of those who suffer sexual abuse, grant us the grace to defend our sexual autonomy, and reclaim the power of our bodies.  Amen.

7. St. Dymphna, patron of those who suffer from post-traumatic stress disorder, heal our memories, still the demons of anxiety, and grant us restful sleep.  Amen. 


Brief Story of St. Dymphna

Patron of Victims of Nervous Disorders


             Dymphna lived in Ireland in the 7th Century.  She was fourteen when her mother died. Her father Damon, a local ruler, is said to have been afflicted with a mental illness. He obsessed about the resemblance of Dymphna to his departed wife. In disregard of cultural norms, and refusing to recognize the personhood of his daughter, he attempted to marry her, feeling entitled to her, since patriarchal males tended to treat women, even relatives, as property.  It is likely that at this time Dymphna was sexually abused by her father.  She fled from her castle together with the priest, St. Gerebran, and two other friends. Like many abusers, Damon stalked her and pursued her, and found them in Belgium. He gave orders that the priest's head be cut off. Then Damon tried to persuade his daughter to return to Ireland with him. When she refused, he drew his sword and struck off her head. She was then only fifteen years of age. Dymphna received the crown of martyrdom in defense of her sexual autonomy about the year 620. She is the patron of those suffering from sexual abuse as well as nervous and mental afflictions. Many miracles have taken place at her shrine, built on the spot where she was buried in Gheel, Belgium. Though often held up as a model of purity, Dymphna also shows heroic virtue in her radical affirmation of the autonomy of her own body, her defense of self-esteem, and her ability to break free from the cycle of abuse. 



Hear us, O God, Our Saviour, as we honor St. Dymphna, patron of those who are sexually abused and those afflicted with mental and emotional illness. Help us to be inspired by her example and comforted by her merciful help. Amen.



(pray for 9 days or 9 hours straight)


             St. Dymphna, a great wonder worker in every affliction of mind and body, I humbly implore your powerful intercession with Jesus through Mary, the Health of the Sick.

     You are filled with love and compassion for the thousands of patients brought to your shrine for centuries and for those who cannot come to your shrine but invoke you in their homes or in hospitals. Show the same love and compassion toward me, your faithful client. The many miracles you have wrought through your intercession give me great confidence that you will help me in my present need.

(state your specific request or intention here!)

     I am confident of obtaining my request, if it is for the greater glory of God and the good of my soul. For the sake of Jesus and Mary, whom you loved so earnestly, and for whom you offered your life in martyrdom, grant my prayer.

     St. Dymphna, young and beautiful, innocent and pure, strong and determined,  help me to imitate your love. You chose to be martyred by your own fathers sword rather than continue to submit to sexual abuse.  Give me strength and courage in fighting off my abuser and in breaking free from the cycle of abuse.  As you have given all the love of your heart to Jesus, help me to love God with my whole heart and serve God faithfully. As you bore the persecution of your father and the sufferings of an exile so patiently, obtain for me the patience I need to accept the trials of my life with love for God and my neighbor, and the strength to affirm the autonomy of my body and my sexuality.  St. Dymphna, through your glorious martyrdom for the love of Christ, help me to be loyal to my faith and my God as long as I live. And when my hour of death comes, stand at my side and pray for me that I may at last merit the eternal crown of glory in God's Kingdom.

     Good St. Dymphna, I beg you to recommend my request to Mary, the Health of the Sick, and Comforter of the Afflicted, that both of you may present it to Jesus, the Divine Physician.

     O God, You gave St. Dymphna to Your Church as a model of all virtues, especially the holiness and true freedom of sexual love, and willed that she should seal her faith with her innocent blood and perform numerous miracles. Grant that we who honor her as patroness of those who suffer sexual abuse and those who are afflicted with nervous and mental illness may continue to enjoy her powerful intercession and protection and attain eternal life. We ask this through Christ our Lord. Amen.


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