Saint Peregrine Laziosi, 1260-1345
Would you believe that a Saint once slapped another Saint? Saint Philip Benizi was preaching in a town in Italy that was very strongly anti-Catholic. A gang of young men showed up, wanting a fight, and one of them actually slapped Saint Philip. Saint Philip immediately turned his other cheek and told the young man that he forgave him.
The young man, Peregrine Laziosi, was so ashamed of his actions he began to pray and became a Catholic. Eventually he decided that he would become a priest. When he went to join the Servants of Mary, the superior who accepted him was none other than Saint Philip himself!
Saint Peregrine was so sorry for all the things he did as a young man, he spent many hours in silent prayer, often standing instead of sitting. As often as he could, he did penance for his sins.
Later in life, he developed cancer on his leg and foot and the doctors told him he would need his foot amputated. Peregrine spent the entire night before the surgery praying before a crucifix. He fell asleep and had a vision of Jesus reaching out and touching him. In the morning, his foot was healed. Because of that, he is the patron Saint of people who have cancer.
He was well known for his ability to tell people about Jesus and encourage them to go to confession to confess their sins. Saint Peregrine died in 1345 at the age of eighty-five. He was canonized in 1726.
Discuss: What would you say to someone to encourage them to confess their sins?
Pray to Saint Pergrine
What we learn from Saint Peregrine's life is not that God worked a miracle, but that Saint Peregrine placed himself, unconditionally, in the hands of God. Peregrine's trust in God serves as a model for those dealing with sickness, and he is the patron Saint for cancer patients.
Encourage the young people to pray to Saint Peregrine for someone they know who has cancer.