I don’t think it’s a coincidence that May was chosen as the month of mental health illness, especially with St. Dymphna’s feast day being on the 15th. Many Catholics who suffer from anxiety, panic disorders, depression, all types of abuse (especially mental abuse), and other mental health issues often pray for her intercession when they’re going through hard times.
However, did you know that she’s not the only patron saint who you can turn to during these difficult periods?
Here are eleven saints and blesseds who are also patrons of various mental health issues.
1. St. Philomena
Her intercession has cured many illnesses in several people across the centuries. Though not much is known about her life, saints like St. John Marie Vianney had a fervent devotion to her.
2. St. Margaret of Cortona
After the death of the man she lived/had an affair with, St. Margaret went through prolonged periods of self-loathing and did all she could to make herself unattractive to those of the opposite sex. Rumors and gossip plagued her for the rest of her life. That’s why she is a patron of mental illness and against temptations.
3. St. Raphael the Archangel
His name means “God has healed” or “Healer from God.” Enough said.
4. St. Christina the Astonishing
Because of all the strange things that happened in her life (e.g. her frequent levitations) and due to her behavior, she was jailed twice. They didn’t know whether she was possessed, insane, or if she was just experiencing visions but it was enough for the police to temporarily keep her locked up.
5. St. Drogo
He blamed himself for his mother’s death upon learning that she died during his birth. The guilt led him to do extreme acts of penance.
6. St. Therese of Lisieux
It’s speculated that, beyond intense fears and sensitive nature, St. Therese also suffered from OCD and depression.
7. St. Louis Martin
It is said that the father of the Little Flower might’ve also suffered from depression during his lifetime so he’d be a good saint to ask for his intercession.
8. St. Mathurin
He was a well-known exorcist and his ministry led him to become an early patron of those suffering from mental illness.
9. St. Fillan
Legend has it that people who were immersed in a fountain at a church, then tied up, and left overnight near his relics in Scotland were miraculously cured of their mental illnesses for centuries following his death. This is one of those “don’t try this at home” situations but his intercession can still be asked.
10. Bl. Michelina of Pesaro
She married and widowed at a young age (married at 12; widowed at 20). When her only child was born, she decided to take orders. However, her family was against her wishes and had her locked up on the (false) grounds of insanity. When she was finally set free, she began away all her worldly goods and became a Franciscan tertiary.
11. Bl. Eustochium of Padua
Her story is similar to that of St. Christina the Astonishing. She suffered from hysterical fits and was jailed out of fear of her being possessed. She was starved and exorcised during those four years when she suffered the most from these attacks.
Whoever you decide to ask for their intercession, may they grant you the peace and mental serenity you seek!