Saint PEREGRINE -
THE CANCER SAINT.

Devotions to Saint Peregrine.

By a Cancer Sufferer.

CATHOLIC TRUTH SOCIETY of Manila No. Pr065 (1965).


Suffering is a gift we can give to God. It is a gift that only the person who is suffering can give. When we understand its value and offer it for love of God and the good of others, then we also find that suffering brings joy.

Certainly good works are of great value, but pains and trials borne with love and patience are worth even more. Love can transform even the smallest pain and make it a worthy act of adoration.

No one loves suffering for itself. But to suffer out of love, and in an attitude of acceptance and trust, is to follow Jesus.

Saint Peregrine, the Cancer Saint, is an example of just such trust.

As a youth in Forli, in Emilia in Italy, around the year 1278, he took an active part in the anti-papalist politics of his town. Father Philip Benizi, (canonized in 1671,) was sent to Forli by the Pope to act as a mediator, but he was insulted and mistreated by the townspeople. A group of young troublemakers, led by Peregrine, attacked Father Philip and drove him from the town. Peregrine himself struck the saintly priest on his face. Father Benizi’s only reply was to offer the other cheek.

Peregrine could not forget the look in the holy priest’s eyes — a look of compassion, love and pardon. Peregrine’s whole life changed and took on a new meaning. He begged Father Philip’s forgiveness, left aside his former way of life, and dedicated himself to prayer and solitude.

During this time, he developed a trusting and childlike confidence in the Blessed Mother. On one occasion Mary spoke to him and urged him to join “her servants” — the Servites. Father Philip Benizi received Peregrine into the order.

After Peregrine had been ordained a priest, he asked to return to Forli to work among his own people. His favorite places were the hospitals, the prisons and the homes of the poor. He spent his days and nights visiting the sick and the dying, and comforting them by his presence, his words and his actions.

A life of poverty and penance eventually left its mark on the now aging Father Peregrine. A painful and repulsive cancerous sore developed on his leg. Yet, he bore this suffering without complaint. To save his life, however, the doctors decided to amputate. Surgery was a great risk in those days. Peregrine was afraid and spent the night before the operation in prayer. Suddenly the figure on the crucifix above him began to move! Jesus came down and touched the painful sore, then disappeared. Father Peregrine thought it had been a dream — but he was cured! The doctors themselves testified that they could no longer detect any trace of the cancerous sore.

For this reason Saint Peregrine has been designated the patron of all who suffer from any type of cancer.

The suffering that Saint Peregrine bore in his lifetime became his crown of glory. His reward was the heaven that each of us longs to someday enjoy.

What we suffer in this life can never be compared to the glory, as yet unrevealed, which is waiting for us (see Romans 8:18).

Novena to Saint Peregrine.

O glorious wonder-worker, Saint Peregrine, you answered the divine call with a ready spirit, forsaking 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 most Holy Mother. You labored courageously for the salvation of souls, meriting the title of “Apostle of Emilia.” In union with Jesus Crucified, you patiently endured the most painful sufferings and so were permitted to be healed miraculously from an incurable wound in your leg with a touch of His divine hand. Obtain for us, we pray, the grace to answer every call from God. Enkindle in our hearts a consuming zeal for the salvation of souls. Deliver us from the infirmities that so often afflict our weakened bodies. And obtain for us the grace of perfect resignation to the sufferings, which our merciful God allows us to endure. So may we, imitating your virtues and tenderly loving our crucified Lord and His sorrowful Mother, merit glory everlasting in paradise. Amen.

Our Father, Hail Mary, Glory be to the Father.

          Prayer to the Father through Saint Peregrine.

O God, Who gave Saint Peregrine an angel, a guardian 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 intensely 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, with the invocation: “Saint Peregrine, pray for us”.

Litany in Honor of Saint Peregrine.

Lord, have mercy on us.
Christ, have mercy on us.
Lord, have mercy on us.

Christ, hear us.
Christ, graciously hear us.

God, the Father of heaven, have mercy on us.
God the Son, Redeemer of the world, have mercy on us.
God, the Holy Spirit, have mercy on us.
Holy Trinity, one God, have mercy on us.

Holy Mary, Mother of God, pray for us.
Mother of Sorrows, pray for us.
Health of the sick, pray for us.
Comforter of the afflicted, pray for us.
Help of Christians, pray for us.

Saint Peregrine, pray for us.
Saint Peregrine, Converted by the prayers of Saint Philip, pray for us.
Saint Peregrine, Afflicted with a cancerous growth, pray for us.
Saint Peregrine, Completely cured by the outstretched hand of Jesus Crucified, pray for us.
Saint Peregrine, Who performed many miracles in your lifetime, pray for us.
Saint Peregrine, Who multiplied food and drink, pray for us.
Saint Peregrine, Who cured the sick by the power of the Name of Jesus, pray for us.
Saint Peregrine, Who converted hardened sinners by prayer and fasting, pray for us.
Saint Peregrine, Who receive every favor you ask of God, pray for us.
Saint Peregrine, Most confident in prayer, pray for us.
Saint Peregrine, Most austere in penance, pray for us.
Saint Peregrine, Most patient in suffering, pray for us.
Saint Peregrine, Most humble in the holy priesthood, pray for us.
Saint Peregrine, Most zealous for souls, pray for us.
Saint Peregrine, Most kind toward the afflicted, pray for us.
Saint Peregrine, Most devoted to the passion of Jesus and the sorrows of Mary, pray for us.

Saint Peregrine, Victim with Jesus and Mary for the salvation of souls, pray for us.
Saint Peregrine, Wonder-worker for the sick and diseased, pray for us.
Saint Peregrine, Hope of incurable cases, pray for us.
Saint Peregrine, Universal patron of all who suffer from cancer, pray for us.
Saint Peregrine, Beloved Patron of Spain, pray for us.
Saint Peregrine, Glory of the Order of the Servants of Mary, pray for us.

Lamb of God, who takes away the sins of the world, spare us, O Lord.
Lamb of God, who takes away the sins of the world, graciously hear us, O Lord.
Lamb of God, who takes away the sins of the world, have mercy on us.

Versicle. Pray for us, O glorious Saint Peregrine,
Response. That we may be made worthy of the promises of Christ.

Let us pray.
O God, be gracious and hear the prayers which we present to You in honor of Saint Peregrine, Your beloved servant. May we who do not rely on our own merits receive help in our needs through the intercession of him whose life was so pleasing to You, Through Christ, our Lord. Amen.

Preparation for a Sick Call.

1. — A small table covered with a clean white cloth.

2. — On the table:

(a) a Crucifix;
(b) two candles;
(c) holy water, with a sprinkler (perhaps a small palm branch or similar);
(d) a small vessel with clean drinking water;
(e) a white linen cloth for the use of the sick person when receiving Holy Communion.

Prayers For the Sick.

Almighty and everlasting God, the eternal salvation of those who believe in You, hear us on behalf of Your servants who are sick, for whom we humbly beg the help of Your mercy, so that, being restored to health, they may render thanks to You in Your Church, Through Christ our Lord. Amen.

Act of Resignation to the Will of God.

My Father, I do not know what will happen to me today. I only know that nothing will happen to me that was not foreseen by You and directed to my greater good from all eternity. This is enough for me.

I adore You in Your holy eternal and unfathomable plans. I submit to them with all my heart for love of You. I offer a sacrifice of everything to You and unite my sacrifice to that of my divine Savior.

In his name and through his infinite merits, I ask You for patience in my sufferings and perfect submission to You so that everything You will or permit to happen will be for Your glory. Amen.

Prayer for a Happy Death.

Lord, my Creator and Redeemer, with all my heart I accept my death according to Your will and in a spirit of adoration.

I want to die as a devout child of the Church and to go into eternity with the best dispositions of faith, of hope, of charity and of sorrow for my sins.

I hope to renew, at least mentally, my baptismal promises.

O Lord, I offer You all the circumstances, even the most painful, which will accompany my passage to eternity in reparation for my sins and to merit heaven better.

I call upon the great patrons of a good death:
Jesus Crucified, with whom I want to pronounce the words: “Father, into Your hands I commend my spirit”;
our Mother Mary, so that she may “pray for us sinners now and at the hour of our death”;
and Saint Joseph, that he may help me lead a holy life and merit a death similar to his.

O suffering Jesus, O sorrowful Mary, O Saint Joseph, I ask You for these graces:

— A good life in faithful observance of the commandments and of all the duties of my state in life, which will assure me of a holy death.

— The gift to receive, in the event of a serious sickness, the sacraments of the Anointing of the Sick and Viaticum (Holy Communion for my eternal journey).

— Correspondence to the gifts I have received, so that my life may be spent for the glory of God, and so that I may gain eternal happiness.

— Daily prayer, which is necessary for salvation; in particular the frequent reception of the sacraments of confession and the Holy Eucharist.

Jesus Master, I believe in You.
Jesus Master, I hope in You.
Jesus Master, I love You.
Jesus Master, I invoke Your mercy.

Jesus, Mary and Joseph, I give You my heart and my soul.
Jesus, Mary and Joseph, assist me in my last agony.
Jesus, Mary and Joseph, may I breathe forth my soul in peace with You.

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