Your Faith

Meet St. Peregrine, cancer’s patron saint

FMA logo (1)Who would have thought he would be a man with a deep faith in God’s will?

In the depths of the colorful and burgeoning culture of Medieval Forli, Italy, the wealthy parents of a beautiful baby boy celebrated the birth of their son, Peregrine Laziosi, in 1260. Growing up, he emerged as a leader among other teens engaging in what we would consider higher education.

Some people regarded Peregrine as a know-it-all, because he was a young student with special intellectual gifts, including public oratory. An encounter with a brilliant and holy priest, St. Philip Benizi, would call Peregrine’s mind to more important things than claiming to be the best in everything.

With what many thought must have been a miracle, Peregrine went on to recognize his true vocation as a priest and religious of the Servite congregation. And just as he had given his all to study and public speaking, Father Peregrine grew into a devoted servant of God.
By his middle years, Father Peregrine was renowned as a preacher of the Gospel, a sought-out confessor, a holy priest, a servant of God who ministered to the poor when black plague, almost constant war, and injustice prevailed.

All this until the day when his religious superiors began to notice Peregrine’s limp and walking troubles. They called in the best of physicians. Their diagnosis: Cancer of the foot, moving into Father Peregrine’s leg. The only remedy was to be amputation.

Trusting in God, he went to Chapel, prayed, and fell asleep. When he awoke- and a full night’s sleep was rare for this servant of God – he remembered what he thought was a ‘dream.’ He recalled the Image of the Crucified Lord stretching out his Holy Hand and touching Peregrine’s diseased foot and leg.

Immediately, he could walk and stand – and lost few minutes in informing his superiors and thanking his doctors.

He would work for another 40 years, preaching the Gospel, converting sinners, and always, he attended and ministered to the sick and the very poor.

His own now famous illness demonstrated that “Father’s cure” was an example of how Faith could touch and impact our lives.

 

By Father Robert . Campagna, OFM

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