‘Twas the Night Before Christmas and all through the hospital,
Not a creature was stirring, not even an animal,
The bedsheets were hung from the ceiling with care,
With hopes that Saint Dymphna soon would be there,
The patients were all locked down snug in their beds,
While visions of dead people danced in their heads.
And the nurses in their scrubs and the doctors in their coats,
Had just gotten ready to get the fuck out,
When up on the roof there arose such a clatter,
Security rushed out to see what was the matter,
Away to the buzz door they rose in a flash,
The patients were ready to get into a clash,
The exit door lights lit the linoleum floor all aglow,
Hints of red shone down on the patients below,
When what to their wondering eyes should appear,
But Saint Dymphnas and her confessor Gereburnus dear,
With two trusted servants and the King’s only fool,
Fleeing from her father’s evil, big, long and hard tool,
More quickly than a cheetah, along Saint Dymphnas came,
She whistled, sang and called the patients by name,
They gathered around her and formed a neat row,
Their strength to resist temptation did grow,
She meticulously tended to each patient’s need,
Showed love, empathy and compassion, indeed,
She did not leave until each patient was helped,
And she laughed out loud in spite of herself,
And when each patient had had their needs met,
She took the bedsheets and created a large safety net,
Only then did she turn to see her father with dread,
And with his sword, Damon cut off her sweet head.
The patients now cured were all filled with sorrow,
Knowing today would unfold to Christmas tomorrow,
Their suffering took on a holy new strife,
For them, Saint Dymphnas gave up her life,
In the mental hospital, the patients will all be alright,
And so they call out, “Merry Christmas to all and to all a good night.”
Saint Dymphnas is the patron saint of the nervous, emotionally disturbed, mentally ill and those with neurological disorders. She is also the patron saint of psychiatrists, neurologists and psychologists.
Dymphnas was born in Ireland in the 7th century. Her father, Damon, was a pagan and her mother was Christian. Dymphnas also became Christian. When her mother died, her father was overcome with grief and vowed only to remarry if he found a woman who compared in beauty with his dead wife.
His grief led him to become mentally unstable and his daughter was resembling his dead wife more and more each day. He vowed he would marry her. Dymphnas fled to Geel in present-day Belgium with the help of a priest, Gereburnus, two servants and a fool.
When she arrived in Geel, legend has it that she built and ran a hospice for the sick and the poor. However, her father was able to track her location using the money trail. (Pretty fucked-up, without computers, right?) Anyway, King Damon had his soldiers kill the priest who helped her escape. And when he found his 15 year old daughter who refused to marry or go back with her father, Damon cut off her head with his sword. Saint Dymphnas is also the patron saint for victims of incest.