Saint Dymphna of Gheel

St Dymphna of Gheel was the was the daughter of a pagan Irish chieftain and a Christian woman. When her mother died, her father searched for a woman who could replace her. Finding noe he returned home and noted how much Dymphna had grown to resemble her mother. Driven mad by the grief of the loss of his wife he made incestuous advances on Dymphna.

With her confessor, Saint Gerebernus, she fled to Belgium. Eventually her father and his soldiers hunted her down and killed Saint Gerebernus. When she refused to return home with her father he became enraged and killed her.

St. Dymphna still lies in Saint Dymphna Church in Gheel, Belgium. The site is famous for miraculous healings of the mentally ill and possessed. She is shown here with a sword, the instrument of her martyrdom, and a lantern, a light to clear the mind and drive away madness.
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