Mental illness can be an excruciating struggle and cross that many people carry. It’s important to acknowledge that mental illness is not equated with sinfulness or unholiness. Plenty of saints have struggled with their mental health, showing us how to move forward with faith even in the darkest of days. There is always hope! And the Lord is with you in every struggle.
As Christians we know that Jesus is the ultimate healer, but please don’t be afraid or hesitant to also seek professional help.
Of course, either way, prayer is essential for our health and well-being, and there are a lot of novenas to pray for the sake of your mental health or for someone you care about who is suffering. Here are a few novenas to get you started!
Saint Dymphna was born in Ireland during the 7th century. She is the patron saint of those suffering from depression and anxiety. You can pray the St. Dymphna Novena for Anxiety and Depression here.
St. Louis Martin
St. Louis was a devoted husband of St. Zelie Martin and father of many, one of whom was St. Therese of Lisieux. At the end of his life, he suffered from dementia and had to be admitted to an asylum for three years; this was a sorrow anddifficulty not only for Martin but for his children who loved him. He courageously accepted the cross God gave him, even remarking that “this trial is a mercy.”; you can pray this novena to St. Zelie Martin for healing, humility, and/or courage.
St. Therese, the daughter of St. Louis and Zelie Martin, is known for her little way as well as for her sensitive soul. She’s thought to have suffered from depression and possibly from OCD. She would be a great intercessor for any mental health difficulties and sufferings. You can pray the St. Therese Novena here.
St. Alphonsa was a religious sister in the early 1900s in India. She endured many sufferings throughout her life including teasing in school, various physical health issues, and toward the end of her life, mental trauma. While in the Poor Clares, a thief entered her room at night and she was so frightened that she suffered amnesia for a lengthy period. Pray this novena to St. Alphonsa and ask her to pray for you!
Mother Angelica had a difficult early life. She was a child of divorce, abandoned by her father at the age of five, and witnessed her mother’s depression. In high school, she was given medication for anxiety. She is a great example of someone who struggled with mental health then made a 180, dedicated her entire life to God, and overcame the illness. Pray this novena and ask Mother Angelica to pray for you
St. John Paul II
Saint John Paul II often encouraged us to “be not afraid!” He was filled with hope, despite suffering many losses and difficult circumstances. Let us be comforted by Saint John Paul II’s reminder that “Christ took all human suffering on himself, even mental illness.” Pray this novena to St. John Paul II to never lose hope in these struggles.
St. Margaret of Cortona
Saint Margaret of Cortona lost her mother as a child and was not treated well by her step-mother. She left home and had a son out of wedlock. After nine years, she found her lover murdered. This experience led her to a life of penance. She eventually joined a Franciscan order serving the poor and sick. Her life was centered around prayer and penance, a beautiful example of redemption. Pray this novena to St. Margaret of Cortona that our struggles and downfalls might also be redeemed.
Praying the All Saints novena is a great way to cover all your bases, so to speak! There are bound to have been more saints who struggled with mental health than we are aware of, and of course there are so many saints in heaven who aren’t canonized or known at all. When you pray the All Saints Novena, you can call on them all to pray for you. Imagine all the possible graces!
The Novena for Difficult Times
There’s no doubt that struggling with any type or severity of mental illness is difficult. That makes this Novena for Difficult Times an easy choice for praying during a difficult time or situation.
Novena for Chronic Illness
When mental health struggles persist for a long time, it can be discouraging. This is a good time to remember God promised He would never leave us! Pray the Novena for Chronic Illness here.
Novena to Heal the Sick
You can pray this novena for yourself or someone you love, for any type of illness. Many throughout the world are in need of healing from sickness and can benefit from your prayers as well. Pray the Novena to Heal the Sick anytime.
Our Lady of Knock Novena
In 1879, Our Lady appeared to a small group of people in Knock, Ireland. She did not say anything, but shortly after, a girl was completely healed of her deafness and severe ear pain. There is now a basilica where Our Lady appeared, and it has become a place where thousands pilgrimage to each year to ask for Our Lady’s intercession for healing.You can pray this novena to Our Lady of Knock for healing.
Novena of Gratitude
Gratitude is a virtue always worth cultivating. Many mental health professionals have drawn the connection between gratitude and an improved mental health function. Let us never forget to thank God for everything we have and everything He has done for us, and just like prayer, we can make thankfulness a habit. Pray the Novena of Gratitude in hope for a mindset shift toward gratefulness, even amidst a mental illness.
Novena to Jesus for Healing
Jesus is the ultimate healer and we are all in need of healing! How fitting it is to ask Him to heal us of our inequities and trials in whatever way gives Him the most glory. Pray this novena to Jesus for healing.
Our Lady of Hope Novena
Struggling with mental illness can cause feelings of hopelessness. Perhaps, you or someone you know has been struggling for a long time and you’re in need of more hope. Pray this novena to Our Lady of Hope!