Many of us know someone who is struggling with some form of cancer. It is a pervasive and frightful disease that has affected many of our parishioners and their loved ones. Our Holy Father, Pope Francis recently addressed the importance of God’s presence as one deals with cancer. The publication, “Catholic News Service”, reported that Pope Francis recently reminded the faithful that “it is not easy living with cancer.” Speaking specifically about children stricken with cancer, he stated that with the support of family, friends and others, we should not get discouraged, and indicated, “…there is no difficulty that cannot be overcome.”
In another address, Pope Francis stated, “Each one of us is called to bear the light of the Word of God and the power of grace to those who suffer, and to those who assist them – families, doctors, and nurses – so that the service to the sick might always be better accomplished with more humanity, with generous dedication, with evangelical love, with tenderness. Mother Church, through our hands, caresses our sufferings and cures our wounds, and does so with the tenderness of a mother.”
As we reflect on these profound words of Our Holy Father, we are invited to pray to St. Peregrine, asking for his intercession in our time of need. There is a statue of St. Peregrine in our Church. Many do not know that he is the patron of all those afflicted by cancer and other illnesses. The publication, “Franciscan Mission Associates”, provided a brief glimpse into his background. It stated that he “… led a life of quiet prayer, solitude and repentance for many years. His life took an unexpected turn when a painful cancerous tumor developed on his foot, requiring amputation. The night before surgery, St. Peregrine spent hours in prayer, then fell asleep and dreamt of Jesus touching and healing his foot. Upon waking, he was cured! During the rest of his lifetime and beyond, many miracles of healing have been attributed to St. Peregrine’s prayers.”
The following prayer to St. Peregrine can comfort us in our times of trial:
St. Peregrine, as we recall Jesus’ words to the apostle Thomas,
“Blessed are those who have not seen and have believed,” we ask for your prayerful assistance.
Please help us persevere in our faith even without a heavenly vision.
Despite our current suffering, may we remain ever faithful to the Lord until the day we are blessed to be joined with him in heaven.
We also seek your prayers, dear St. Peregrine, for those whom God has already called home, that they may finally be at peace with all the Saints and the Holy Family for eternity.