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Depression 3 Roman Catholic saints who dealt with mental health disorder

We take a look at saints who suffered from depression and how they dealt with it.

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3 Catholic saints who dealt with depression and how they coped play

St. Ignatius of Loyola suffered from depression. He overcame with God's help

(youtube/Catholic Online)

So many people suffering from depression think they are alone, that no one can relate. This is so far from the truth. Here is a list of Roman Catholic saints who also suffered from this mental health disorder.

These saints include:

1. St. Ignatius of Loyola of 16th century — 

Being the founder of the Jesuits did not stop this great man of faith from suffering from depression or “desolation” as he called it in his Spiritual Exercises of Ignatius of Loyola, which was composed in 1522–1524.

In it, he describes the experience as one of frightening doubts, unrest, insecurity about everything, irritability, discomfort, e.t.c. However, he notes that this is not caused by God, adding that depression is used by God to convert us.

St. Ignatius of Loyola suffered from depression. He overcame with God's help play

St. Ignatius of Loyola suffered from depression. He overcame with God's help



According to Joseph A. Munitiz, a Roman Catholic Jesuit priest and academic, Ignatius’ bad times were characterised by “poor concentration, indecisiveness, recurrent thoughts of death and suicide, loss of interest and pleasure in prayer or in attending liturgical functions, agitation and great distress, self-punishment (fasting) with loss of weight and probably chronic fatigue.”

From his experience, St. Ignatius is able to offer three ways to deal with depression — ‘do not desist, nor alter a previous good resolution; intensify your conversation with God, your meditation, and good works; and persevere with patience.’

St. Ignatius’ prayer against depression can be seen in the video below.

ALSO READ: 11 Bible verses for battling depression

2. St. Flora of Beaulieu of the 14th century — 

According to Catholic Online, this saint’s depression started after she entered the Priory of Beaulieu of the Hospitaller nuns of St. John of Jerusalem. This was after resisting her parents' attempts tried to marry her off.

Other reports say ridicule from the other sisters made her depressed. She "worked her way through the tunnel of depression," with the help of understanding confessor and the grace of God.

St Flora dealt with depression play

St Flora dealt with depression



She is the patron of the abandoned, converts, single laywomen, and victims of betrayal.

3. St. Elizabeth Ann Seton of 18th century

Reportedly, Elizabeth suffered from depression, which was so severe that she considered suicide at 16. It certainly did not help that her life was filled with a lot of problems —losing her husband, mother, daughter, illness, facing rejection when she became a Catholic and financial issue.

 St. Elizabeth Ann Seton play

 St. Elizabeth Ann Seton



Elizabeth, who is known as America’s first native-born saint, dealt with depression by ‘looking up.’ According to Aleteia, she used to say: “Look up and be thankful for the good that yet remains. Look up at the blue heavens and love him!” This cheerful practice helped her overcome discouragement and self-pity.

Reading, music, the sea and surrendering to God’s will were other ways she dealt with depression. “God has given me a great deal to do and I have always and hoped always to prefer his will to every wish of my own,” she once wrote.

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