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Father Muench Says...

St. Peregrine: now that I have found you...

February 6, 2013

By Father William Muench
NCC columnist

Last Saturday, I attended a Mass that honored St. Peregrine.  I know that many of you know all about St. Peregrine, especially you cancer sufferers or survivors.  I did not know anything about this saint, until that Mass.

After the Mass, I was taken up with this devotion to St. Peregrine, the patron saint for cancer sufferers, so I called several of my parishioners and friends who were suffering from cancer or were recoverers. They already knew all about the devotion to St. Peregrine and were very devoted to him. They then proceeded to teach me all about St. Peregrine and devotion to him.  Many of them told me of their gratitude to St. Peregrine for help and recovery.

So, I learned that St. Peregrine was a 13th century priest who was known for his concern and care for the needy and the poor.  He developed a tumor on his leg  and in a time of prayer, he had a vision of Jesus on the cross. Jesus seemed to come off the cross and touch his leg. In that moment he was healed.

Recently, in a visit to Florida, I visited a parish where they had a shrine to St. Peregrine on the parish grounds.  The shrine is dominated by a large mosaic of St. Peregrine being healed by Jesus who is coming off the cross and reaching out to touch him. Around the walls of the shrine, parishioners could buy a wall tile to place their loved one’s names for remembrance.  This particular shrine is set up as a meditation garden. It was at this parish that I attended the Mass in honor of St. Peregrine right at the shrine with the anointing of the sick and the veneration of a relic of St. Peregrine.  I was impressed. There was a good sized crowd of folks with many cancer sufferers seeking strength to face their illness and possible recovery.There were also many cancer survivors, praying in gratitude and many others of us, praying for loved ones who were suffering.

Now that I have discovered St. Peregrine, I must make a promise to my many friends and parishioners who are suffering from cancer that I will turn in prayer for them to St. Peregrine.   So, St. Peregrine, now that I have found you, I have a long list to present to you: my friends and parishioners who have been diagnosed with cancer.
I pray for them all. Take their intentions to the Lord, give them a new and stronger faith, strength to battle pain, confidence to deal with fear, and, if it is God’s will, healing.

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