St. Peregrine is the patron saint of the sick, especially those suffering with cancer or other serious illness. Born in Italy in 1260, St. Peregrine was not always filled with faith and hope. In fact, in his youth he actively worked against the Church. But he experienced a conversion that changed his life in every way and led him to commit himself to serving God and others. He became an ideal priest and brought many back to the Faith.

Then, St. Peregrine was afflicted with cancer – an odorous, ulcerous sore that would not heal and after some time amputation of his leg was scheduled. The night before surgery, he crawled into the monastery chapel and offered a prayer of loving resignation, mixed with the plea, that his leg would not be amputated. He had a vision of Jesus reaching out from the cross to touch his leg. When he awoke, the cancer was gone!

This miracle gave faith to those suffering from illness and further enhanced the reputation Peregrine had already acquired by his exemplary life – and he became known as a “Wonder Worker”. By the time of his death on May 4, 1345 at age 85, so great were the number of miracles attributed to him, that he was beatified by the Church in 1609 and canonized in 1726.

While the miraculous physical healing stands out in St. Peregrine’s story, there is something much more profound to remember when we face our own sufferings. The more important healing in Peregrine’s life was his spiritual healing, the conversion that allowed him to turn his heart over to God and trust in whatever God had in store for him.

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