Saturday, February 17, 2018

304. SAN PEREGRINO, The Cancer Patron Saint

The saint who would be invoke for the dreaded disease, cancer, was born to  wealthy family in Forli, Italy. In his youth, Peregrine (San Peregrino)  was anti-pope; in one encounter with a fit of anger St. Philip Benizi, an envoy of the pope who was sent over to mediate in an uprising, Peregrine struck him in the face. Philip, thereafter, offered his other check. Overcome with shame and guilt, Peregrine became a Catholic convert and joined the Servites.

Legend has it that he observed silence all his life, and never sat down as part of his discipline.  He was afflicted with cancer of the foot, and an amputation was ordered. But after praying the whole night, Peregrine woke up with a healed foot, and the operation was called off. He died at age 85 in 1345, and was elevated to sainthood by Pope Benedict XIII in 1726.

He is represented as an oldish man wearing his habit, clutching a cross, and lifting the hem of his habit to show his cancerous left foot.

In the Philippines, St. Peregrine was known primarily due to TV evangelist Frank M. Jimenez, who was regularly seen in thanksgiving masses aired on  RPN 9 and on his radio morning program over DWAD.

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