Blog 4 of 5
One of the greatest opportunities we are able to take part in as Christians is the act of praying for one another. In the last post we discussed how those suffering from thoughts of suicide might look to physician-assisted suicide as a way of ending their pain. We as Christians need to do all we can to help keep people suffering from thoughts like this and prayer is one of the most powerful actions we can take.
In the Catholic Church, St. Dymphna and Saint Benedict Joseph Labre are two saints who lived with suffering from both mental illnesses and feelings that they did not belong. These two are now powerful intercessors for those suffering in the ways they did.
St. Dymphna was a young girl who lived in Ireland during the seventh century. St. Dymphna was born to a Christian mother and a pagan father and at a young age consecrated her life to Christ and took a vow of chastity. After the death of her mother, St. Dymphna’s father became depressed and decided to arrange for St. Dymphna to marry him in order to replace her mother. After hearing of this plot, St. Dymphna fled with a trusted priest friend and began a hospital for the poor and sick in the country where she sought refuge. After beginning the hospital, the father discovered where she had fled and found her. When St. Dymphna refused to marry him again he killed her, making her a martyr of the Church.
St. Benedict Joseph Labre lived during the 18th century in Italy and is the patron saint of those who feel like outsiders. St. Benedict Joseph Labre lived for most of his years as an outcast because he was not granted entry into any of the monasteries he attempted to join. He was considered eccentric and spent much of his life traveling, removed from the world. Even though he was not accepted by those around him, he continued to persevere in seeking holiness. Many of those who suffer with thoughts of suicide feel that they do not belong. St. Benedict Joseph Labre is relatable because even though he was constantly rejected by the world he never lost his focus on God and knew God had a plan for his life.
These two saints are known to be powerful intercessors for those suffering from depression, thoughts of suicide, and feelings that they do not belong. If you are struggling or know someone who is, encourage them to look more into the lives of these two holy people. In these two great saints, we are able to see how one can truly give their all in this life and can overcome their suffering and feelings of isolation through a focus on God above all things.
Prayer to St. Dymphna:
Good St. Dymphna, 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, in my present need. (Mention it.) St. Dymphna, martyr of purity, patroness of those who suffer with nervous and mental afflictions, beloved child of Jesus and Mary, pray to Them for me and obtain my request. (Pray one Our Father, one Hail Mary and one Glory Be.) St.Dymphna, Virgin and Martyr, pray for us.
Prayer to Saint Benedict Joseph Labre:
St. Benedict Joseph Labre, you gave up honor, money and home for love of Jesus. Help us to set our hearts on Jesus and not on the things of this world. You lived in obscurity among the poor in the streets. Enable us to see Jesus in our poor brothers and sisters and not judge by appearances. Make us realize that in helping them we are helping Jesus. Show us how to befriend them and not pass them by. St. Benedict Joseph Labre, you had a great love for prayer. Obtain for us the grace of persevering prayer, especially adoration of Jesus in the Most Blessed Sacrament. St. Benedict Joseph Labre, poor in the eyes of men but rich in the eyes of God, pray for us.