Novena to St. Peregrine for cancer patients

During nine days, we will pray for the Divine Physician to ease the suffering and bring healing, hope, and strength through the intercession of St. Peregrine, patron of cancer sufferers.

Start the novena whenever you want!

Historical Background

Peregrine Laziosi (whose name means "pilgrim") was born in Forli, Italy, around 1265.

Forli was governed by the Pope as part of the Papal States, however, because of intense anti-papal activity, the city was under the church penalty of "interdict" - no mass, no sacraments. Peregrine's family was part of the opposition to the pope, and the young man grew up despising the Church and her leader. 

When St. Philip Benizi, Prior General of the Servants of Mary, went to Forli as a mediator, he was met by a young Peregrine who heckled and mocked him during public discourse.  Peregrine didn't stop here: he even slapped Philip in the face. Instead of reacting with anger and violence, Philip instead chose to turn the other cheek, prayed for the young man and forgave him. Young Peregrine was immediately overwhelmed with shame. 

This encounter with the papal mediator dramatically changed Peregrine's life. Later, Peregrine had a vision of the Blessed Virgin, who encouraged him to join the Servants of Mary in Siena. After training and ordination, Peregrine was assigned to his home town. He lived and worked, as much as possible, in complete silence, in solitude, and without sitting down for 30 years in an attempt to atone for his early life. When he did speak, he was known as a fervent preacher, excellent orator, and gentle confessor. 

When Peregrine was around 60 years of age, he developed varicose veins in his legs, probably triggered by his habit of standing for a long time. The varicose veins deteriorated into an open sore on his leg, and he was eventually diagnosed as cancer, with no other treatment than amputation.

The night before the surgery, Peregrine prayed before the image of the crucified Christ, and upon waking up, he realized that the wound was healed and his leg saved. He was to live for twenty more years, dying on May 1, 1345, and the age of about 80. Peregrine was canonized on December 27, 1726, and has been named the Patron Saint of those suffering from cancer.

Content of the Novena

Every day, for nine days, you will receive the daily prayers as well as a short meditation. 

Picture: Mosaic of St. Peregrine - National Sanctuary of Our Sorrowful Mother, Portland, Oregon - CC0 Public domain. 

Prayer from the novena

Prayer to St. Peregrine

Glorious wonder-worker, St. Peregrine, you answered the divine call with a ready spirit and forsook all the comforts of a life of ease and all the empty honors of the world to dedicate yourself to God in the Order of His holy Mother. You labored manfully for the salvation of souls. In union with Jesus crucified, you endured painful sufferings with such patience as to deserve to be healed miraculously of incurable cancer in your leg by a touch of His divine Hand. Obtain for me the grace to answer every call of God and to fulfill His will in all the events of life. Enkindle in my heart a consuming zeal for the salvation of all men. Deliver me from the infirmities that afflict my body, especially (name any ailments you may have). Obtain for me also a perfect resignation to the sufferings it may please God to send me, so that, imitating our crucified Saviour and His sorrowful Mother, I may merit eternal glory in heaven. Amen.

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