St. Peregrine was born in 1260 at Forlì, Italy to an affluent family. He lived a comfortable life as a youth, and politically opposed the papacy. After he experienced the forgiveness of St. Philip Benizi, he changed his life and joined the Servite order. He was ordained a priest, and later returned to his home to establish a Servite community. There he was widely known for his preaching, penances, and counsel in the confessional. He was cured of cancer, after he received a vision of Christ on the cross reaching out His hand to touch his impaired limb. He died in 1345 and was canonized in 1726. He is the patron of cancer patients.
Prayer to St Peregrine
Glorious wonder-worker, St. Peregrine, you answered the divine call with a ready spirit, and forsook all the comforts of a life of ease and all the empty honors of the world to dedicate yourself to God in the Order of His holy Mother. You labored manfully for the salvation of souls. In union with Jesus crucified, you endured painful sufferings with such patience as to deserve to be healed miraculously of an incurable cancer in your leg by a touch of His divine hand. Obtain for me the grace to answer every call of God and to fulfill His will in all the events of life. Enkindle in my heart a consuming zeal for the salvation of all men. Deliver me from the infirmities that afflict my body (especially.....). Obtain for me also a perfect resignation to the sufferings it may please God to send me, so that, imitating our crucified Savior and His sorrowful Mother, I may merit eternal glory in heaven.
St. Peregrine, pray for me and for all who invoke your aid. Amen.
The following are extracts from the book 'INTO EXTRA TIME' by Fr Michael Paul Gallagher SJ who wrote it as he battled cancer and struggled with his faith.
With stark honesty, Fr Michael Paul writes:
'I discover prayer as resting silently but receptively in the presence of God...Prayer means relaxing into the reality of being loved by God'.
'The outer process of dying may be frightening but do I really want to stay here forever? If I listen to my heart, I know that I am made for more life than I can yet imagine. When God's promise overcomes my fears, what Paul calls 'the last enemy' becomes an unexpected friend'.
'I am convinced that people on the edges of religion needs spirituality first rather than doctrine or sacraments'.
'I am frighteningly free to hurt the divine shyness'
'Faith can be dark. Indeed it can be very dark'.
'Faith becomes real within the finite situations we live, not by leaping impulsively into the infinite . God liberates us not from time but through time'.
'What matters is not what happens but how we respond to what happens'.
'The opposite to faith is not doubt but a wrong type of certainty'.
'When we are sick, Christ heals the heart and teaches another possible music'.