Dymphna was born in Ireland sometime in the 600s. Her father, Damon, a petty king of Oriel, was pagan but her mother was a devout Christian. When Dymphna was fourteen her mother died. After the death of his wife, Damon wanted to remarry and insisted that his new wife should look like Dymphna's mother. When no such woman could be found Damon began to desire to marry Dymphna, because of the strong resemblance she bore to her mother. When Dymphna learned of her father's intentions she fled his court along with her confessor Father Gerebernus and two servants. Together they sailed towards the continent, eventually landing in Belgium, where they took refuge in the town of Gheel. When Damon discovered their hiding place he set out to recover his daughter. He ordered that Father Gerebernus be killed and tried to persuade Dymphna to return with him, but she refused. Enraged, Damon decapitated his daughter on the spot.