Saint Dymphna is believed to be the daughter of a pagan Irish chief and his Christian wife or concubine and who was born in the 7th century. When her mother unexpectedly died, her father Damon scoured the world for an equally beautiful replacement. When his search failed, the chiefs advisors pointed out to him that his teenage daughter had inherited her mother's looks. Driven mad by grief, Damon made advances on Dymphna.
The burial place of St. Dymphna has long been associated with accounts of miraculous cures of mental illness. A hospital was built there in the 13th century and to this day hosts a world-class sanatorium. A peculiar aspect of the treatment from the earliest days is that patients are hosted with local residents, living and working alongside them. This is especially remarkable considering the attitudes of hostility towards the insane at that time.
St. Dymphna may be synonymous with the Irish saints Davets and Damhnait. Her feast day falls on May 15. She is the patron saint of insanity and mental illness professionals as well as incest victims, runaways, and those suffering from mental illness.