St. Dymphna Chaplet - Rose Quartz, Czech Glass, Vintage Medal
This one of a kind chaplet is totally handmade, featuring fire-polished, faceted Czech glass beads and dainty rose quartz beads in St. Dymphna's traditional colors. Three decades of five beads each are connected with solid wrapped-loop construction that's surprisingly sturdy for looking so delicate. Entire chaplet is 9.5" long. Decade loop is 5.75" long with ends held together.
The St. Gerebernus side is in Latin and the St. Dymphna side in English, both saying “pray for us.” It’s one inch long.
St. Dymphna is a very popular saint to call on against madness, anxiety, depression, and epilepsy. She’s also the patron saint of runaways and survivors of incest and sexual abuse. She is petitioned by those who suffer from mental illness and by those who treat and care for the sufferers of mental illness.
Dymphna is thought to have lived some time between 500 and 720-ish A.D. in Ireland. (The sources and scholars don’t agree.) She fled to Belgium as a young teenager from a very troubled home life accompanied by her confessor, the elderly priest St. Gerebernus or Gereberne.
The martyrologies are chock full of murderous guys who like to kill totally peaceful Christians in very gruesome ways, but even with all the bloodshed and decapitation and suffering in these annals, St. Dymphna’s father still manages to stand out as one of the biggest ass-hats of them all.
He apparently went a little nuts after his beloved wife, who’d been a Christian, died. Pressed to remarry, he ultimately decided only his own teenage daughter, who so strongly resembled his dead wife, would fit the bill.
Well, incest is gross, but even beyond that, Dymphna had also become a Christian and dedicated her virginity to Christ, so this whole thing was a double helping of nope as far as she was concerned. She and Gerebernus took off for Belgium and hid out at the monastery of St. Martin for a while. But her father caught up with them, had his servants kill the priest, and cut off his own daughter’s head. What a guy.
So that's why she's petitioned for help with madness, because she steadfastly faced the madness of her father, keeping her cool in the face of such onslaught, and was martyred in the preservation of her virginity.
St. Gerebernus is the patron saint of Sonsbeck in what’s today North Rhine-Westphalia, Germany.
Epileptics, the insane, and the possessed have been said to receive miraculous cures at Dymphna’s tomb, and in older literature and art especially, she’s portrayed as vanquishing a demon at her feet and is given the title of Demon Slayer. You can’t tell it from modern holy cards these days, but Dymphna is kind of a badass. Just leaving aside for the moment the problems with personifying or even demonizing mental illness (and there are problems), the fact remains that practically speaking, she’s a great source of comfort and aid to many sufferers of mental disorders and anxiety as well as their loved ones who pray for them.
C. Christopher Smith at the Englewood Review of Books put her forward as a fitting patron saint for the #MeToo movement.
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