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Fig 6.12 – Venus of Geel

Text: Page 224

St. Dymphna became the Venus of Geel, providing the inspiration for the rebirth of those struggling with mental illness. From all over Europe, thousands of pilgrims descended on the small town of Geel, Belgium. Because St. Dymphna had overcome evil, the devil, the psychosis of her father, thousands believed that through her intercession they too could overcome their own mental illness. St. Dymphna became the patron saint of the mentally ill and for the hope of recovery, even for a cure of mental illness. St. Dymphna became the inspiration for family care, a system to treat mental illness through adoption and community empowerment.

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