St. Peregrine

St. Peregrine

"The Cancer Saint"

Patron Saint of those afflicted with cancer, AIDS and all the sick.

        The early facts about St. Peregrine are few and uncertain. He was born in Forli, Romagna, Italy, and the only son of well-to-do parents, around 1265. At the time, Forli was governed by the Pope as part of the Papal States. Peregrine grew up in a family which was actively involved in the opposition or anti-papal party. Forli was a stronghold of anti-papal party activism. Because of this anti-papal political activity, the city was under the church penalty of interdict. This meant that Mass and the Sacraments could not be celebrated in the city. St. Philip Benizi, the Prior General of the Servants of Mary, was sent to Forli to preach the reconciliation of the city and the removal of the penalty. Young Peregrine, who was himself active in the politics of his native city, was so intense in his political fervor that he heckled Philip during the preaching and at one point Peregrine struck St. Philip on the cheek with his fist. The holy Servite's only reply was to offer the other cheek ~ an action which brought his assailant to immediate repentance, and from that time Peregrine was a reformed character. The moment of striking St. Philip seemed to drastically change Peregrine. Turning away from his worldly companions, he spent hours upon his knees in the chapel of our Lady in the cathedral. One day the Blessed Virgin herself appeared to him in that place, and addressed him, saying, "Go to Siena: there you will find the devout men who call themselves my servants: attach yourself to them. Peregrine instantly obeyed. Having received the Servite habit, he set about following with zeal the path of perfection. He was about 30 years old. It became his guiding principle that one must never rest in the way of virtue, but must press on to the appointed goal. It is said that for thirty years he never sat down, and as far as he could he observed silence and solitude.

       After he had spent some years in Siena, Peregrine then returned to Forli, sent by his superiors to found a new house for the order. Here he spent the rest of his life. The best information indicates that he was not a priest but a choir brother, though many traditions say that he had been ordained, who undertook an apostolate among the people. He especially dedicated himself to the sick, the poor and the fringe people of society. His ministry and penance of constantly standing probably led to varicose veins. The varicose veins deteriorated into open, running sore on his leg. This cancer, besides being excruciatingly painful, made him an object of repulsion to his brothers and neighbors. He bore this trial without a murmur. At last the surgeons decided that the only thing to do was to amputate the leg. Suddenly Peregrine was confronted with the ugliness and suffering of his own life. He had given himself to people in similar situations and then found he must lean on his own faith in the goodness of God. The night before the operation he prayed before the image of the crucified Christ in the priory chapter room. At the age of 60 he was challenged to carry a new and more difficult cross. His prayer led him into a deep trancelike sleep during which he envisioned the crucified Christ leaving the cross and touching his cancerous leg. When Peregrine awakened from the trance of prayer, he discovered the wound healed and the leg was saved, as the doctors testified that they could no long detect any trace of the disease. This miracle greatly enhanced the reputation, which the holy brother had already acquired by his exemplary life. St. Peregrine lived 20 more years. He died on May 1, 1345 at the age of 80. He was canonized on December 27, 1726. He has been named the Saint for those who suffer from cancer. The people of Forli chose him to be the Patron Saint of their city.

St. Peregrine's feast day is celebrated on May 4.

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A Prayer to St. Peregrine

A Prayer to St. Peregrine for Sick Relatives and Friends

      O great St. Peregrine, you have been called "The Mighty," "The Wonder Worker" because of the numerous miracles which you obtained from God for those who have turned to you in their need. For so many years you bore in your own flesh this cancerous disease that destroys the very fiber of our being. You turned to God when the power of human beings could do no more, and you were favored with the vision of Jesus coming down from His cross to heal your affliction. I now ask God to heal these sick persons whom I entrust to you: (Here mention their names) Aided by your powerful intercession I shall sing with Mary a hymn of gratitude to God for His great goodness and mercy. AMEN.Back to top

St. Peregrine Novena

      Perpetual Novena to St. Peregrine, Universal Patron of all who suffer from cancer, AIDS and other serious diseases and illnesses. Every Friday evening, 7:00 PM, Mass, Novena, veneration of relic and anointing with Peregrine Oil.St. Patrick's Parish, Monson, MA Intentions to be sent:
FAX: (413) 267-0272  o PHONE: (413) 267-3622 o SNAIL MAIL:
St. Patrick's Parish
PO Box 473
22 Green Street
Monson, MA 01057-0473

Or click this link to the direct St. Peregrine Form

All intentions placed in Book of Intentions & Remembrance.


O God, you gave St. Peregrine an angel for his companion, the Mother of God for his teacher, and Jesus for the Physician of his infirmity. Grant, we beg You, through his merits, that on earth we may love our holy angel, the Blessed Virgin, and our Savior, and in heaven bless them forever. Grant that we may receive the favor we now ask.... Through Christ our Lord. Amen.

Say one Our Father, Hail Mary and Glory Be with the invocation:
St. Peregrine, pray for us.
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is limited

It cannot
cripple love,
It cannot
shatter hope,
It cannot
corrode faith,
It cannot
eat away peace,
It cannot
destroy confidence,
It cannot
shut out memories
It cannot
silence courage,
It cannot
invade the soul,
It cannot
reduce eternal life,
It cannot
quench the spirit,
It cannot
lessen the power of the Resurrection.
Who is
St. Peregrine?

A Prayer to St. Peregrine

Sign up a loved
one for Novena Remembrance

Below are a few informational links:

St. Peregrine Center at the Grotto

Novena Prayer to St. Peregrine

Saint Therese of Lisieux
Her mother died of breast cancer

Saint Lucy
Patron of the blind and those with eye troubles

St. Peregrine

St. Peregrine