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About St. Peregrine


1260 — 1345
Feast Day May 1
Patron Saint of cancer warriors and survivors, those with HIV, AIDS and other life threatening diseases and those suffering from running sores.

Peregrine Laziosi was born of a wealthy family in Forli, Italy. As a youth he was active in politics as a member of the anti-papal party. During one uprising, which the Pope sent St. Philip Benizi to mediate, Philip was heckled and struck in the face by Peregrine. When Philip offered the other cheek, Peregrine was so humbled that he repented and converted to Catholicism. Following the instructions of the Virgin Mary he received in a vision, Peregrine went to Siena and joined the Servites.

One of the special penances he imposed on himself was standing whenever it was not necessary to sit. Over time, Peregrine developed varicose veins and, in turn, cancer of the foot. The wound became painful and diseased and all medical treatment failed. The local surgeon determined amputation of the leg was called for.

The night before surgery was scheduled, Peregrine spent much time in prayer before the crucified Jesus, asking God to heal him if it was God’s will to do so. Falling asleep at one point, Peregrine had a vision of the crucified Jesus leaving the cross and touching his cancerous leg. When Peregrine awoke, the wound was healed and his foot and leg miraculously cured. He lived another 20 years and died in 1345 at the age of eighty-five.

Peregrine, like St. Paul, was in open defiance of the Church as a youth. Once given the grace of conversion, he became one of the great saints of his time. His great fervor and qualities as a confessor brought many back to the true Faith. Afflicted with cancer, Peregrine turned to God and was richly rewarded for his Faith, enabling him over many years to lead others to the truth.