EFFECTIVE PERSONAL PRAYER to ST. PEREGRINE For HEALING of CANCER And OTHER LIFE THREATENING DISEASES
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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.
St. Peregrine, the Cancer Saint, is an example of just such trust. As a youth in Forli he took an active part in the anti-papalist politics of his town. Father Philip Benizi 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, at
tacked Fr. Philip and drove him from the town. Peregrine himself struck the saintly priest on his face. Fr. Benizi’s only reply was to offer theother 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 Fr. 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. Fr. 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 favourite 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 aging Fr. 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 St. Peregrine has been designated the patron of all who suffer from any type of cancer.
The suffering that St. 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 (cf. Rom 8:18).
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