A Note for Anorexic and Bulimic Faithful


St. Dymphna is the patron saint of the mentally ill, those with neurological disorders, runaways, and abuse victims. Those with anorexia and bulimia are not just mentally ill, but sufferers of abuse at their own and others’ hands. They are abused by a society that hates fat and disability. Many of them have considered  risky behaviors such as running away as a way to cope. For others, their illness is a way to run away.

You do not have to be Catholic to appreciate St. Dymphna. For all eating disordered faithful, I offer the following from Two Hearts Network:

For the mentally ill:

O Virgin and heroic Martyr, we know very little about your origin, but many have learned to invoke you and several have claimed to have been helped. It is said that you remained faithful to your Divine Bridegroom to the end, resisting the lusts of your pagan*** father and preferring a martyr’s death. Please intercede for (Name), a mental patient, that he/she may give glory to God. Amen.

Hear us, O God, our Savior, as we honor St. Dymphna, patron of those afflicted with mental and emotional illness. Help us to be inspired by her example and comforted by her merciful help. Amen.

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 (Name).
St. Dymphna, helper of the mentally afflicted, pray for us.
Glory be….

For those with addictions:

God of mercy, we bless You in the Name of Your Son, Jesus Christ, Who ministered to all who came to Him. Give Your strength to (name of person addicted), one of Your children, enfold him/her in Your love and restore him/her to the freedom of God’s children.

Lord, look with compassion on all those who have lost their health and freedom. Restore to them the assurance of Your unfailing mercy, strengthen them in the work of recovery, and help them to resist all temptation.

To those who care for them, grant patience and understanding and a love that perseveres. We ask this through Christ our Lord. Amen.

ETA: These are old prayers, so there are references to evil pagans. The Catholic community now recognizes that pagans have a wide range of positive beliefs and even acknowledges some of its origins as pagan.

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