MASSILLON: People from across the country braved persistent rain Thursday to pay tribute to a lesser-known saint at St. Mary’s Catholic Church in Massillon.
The Feast Day for St. Dymphna was celebrated with a Mass at the home of the National Shrine of St. Dymphna followed by a reception at the church.
St. Dymphna is the patroness for those with nervous and mental afflictions. She was born in seventh-century Ireland and at age 15 was forced to run away from home as her father was trying to marry her. Both she and the priest with her were killed at the hand of her father, marking their place in history as martyrs.
“While St. Dymphna is not widely well-known, she is becoming more prominent,” said the Rev. Ed Gretchko, who helps run the shrine. “If we examine the needs of the world, there is so much trauma and pain ... so there is a powerful need to band together and we can all find that in St. Dymphna.”
The Mass was celebrated with an emphasis on serving God as well as others.
“Then he said to them all, ‘If any want to become my followers, let them deny themselves and take up their cross daily and follow me,’ ” read the New Testament Gospel according to Luke 9:23-26. “ ‘For those who want to save their life will lose it, and those who lose their life for my sake will save it. What does it profit them if they gain the whole world, but lose or forfeit themselves? Those who are ashamed of me and of my words, of them the Son of Man will be ashamed when he comes in his glory and the glory of the Father and of the holy angels.’ ”
Gretchko was the leader of song while the Mass was led by the Rev. Donald Feicht.
“We’re very blessed to have [Feicht] with us today,” Gretchko said. “It’s truly a gift.”
At the conclusion of the Mass, people were ushered to the reception and took time waiting in line to reflect on what they had heard during the service.
“It was inspiring,” said Joe Cumo, 79, of Massillon. “It gives an opportunity to share the goodness, the fraternity and our blessings.”
To learn more about the National Shrine of St. Dymphna at St. Mary’s Catholic Church, go online to www.natlshrinestdymphna.org, www.facebook.com/St.Dymphna or email email@example.com.
Katie Nix can be reached at 330-996-3216 or at firstname.lastname@example.org.