St. Peregrine Feast day

Saint Peregrine Vision of Christ

St. Peregrine Day
1 May

Born 1260 at Forli, Italy

1345 at Forli, Italy of natural causes; body incorrupt

11 September 1702 by Pope Clement XI

27 December 1726 by Pope Benedict XIII

The Catholic Church celebrates the feast day of St. Peregrine, who is widely revered among Catholics as the patron saint of cancer patients. According to various sources, his feast day is celebrated one of three days: April 30, May 1 or May 4.

A feast day is the day the Catholic Church officially recognizes and commemorates the contributions of a particular saint. It originates from the traditional of honoring the date of death of the Christian martyrs.

But commemorating the life of saint on his particular feast day is only part of the reason for these observances. When you commemorate a feast day it should stir a spiritual note within in -- reinvigorating your walk with God.

St. Peregrine, who began his life as Peregrine Laziosi, entered the spiritual world in a unique way. It all began with his slapping a papal envoy, Philip, during an uprising in his hometown of Forli, Italy in the late 1200s.

Peregrine, a member of the antipapal political party in the city-state of Forli, heckled Philip during a mediation process. Obviously frustrated with the process (of which very little is known), Peregrine slapped this representative of the Pope.

While this is not normally an action that would spark a conversion, Philip's reaction to this totally shocked the young man. Philip immediately offered his other cheek for Peregrine to strike as well.

This incident changed the young man, who spent several years - according to some sources - doing good deeds in his area. Eventually, he had a vision of the Virgin Mary who advised him to enter the Servites, the religious order whose members devote their work to Mary.

When he completed his initiated into the order, the priest who heard his vows was Philip, the same individual who he had struck and had offered his other cheek in response.

This coincidence overwhelmed him. He attempted, in penance for his actions, to stand instead of sit and seclude himself in prayer whenever possible. As a result, Peregrine spent the better part of 30 years standing, which caused the formation of varicose veins in his legs. Additionally, the friar developed cancer which formed in his foot.

The open sores of the cancer necessitated amputation of the affected foot. The night before the scheduled operation, Peregrine, who was unable to walk, dragged himself to the foot of the nearest crucifix, where he fervently prayed.

While in prayer, it's said that he fell into a trance-like state and experienced a vision of Jesus Christ. Christ touched his foot. When he came out of the trance, Peregrines foot was completely healed.

His faithfulness to God - -even in the darkest times of his life-provides us all with inspiration. The lessons of St. Peregrine, the reminders we all need, are found in the ability to follow God even when - especially when - we don't know where our circumstances may take us.

Observing St. Peregrine's Feast Day

You may want to take a few moments of your spiritual life to observe the feast day of St. Peregrine Laziosi by not only learning more about his life, but through the offering of prayers. In addition to those you may offer to St. Peregrine, consider reading prayers to St. Jude, St. Raphael, the Archangel, St. Roch, St. Rita, St. Anthony Mary Claret.

You may also want to take the time in your prayer life to offer prayers on behalf of all individuals who are chronically ill or facing the possibility of death through a terminal illness.

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