May 1st is St. Peregrine’s Feast Day, so I only find it fitting to share with you my story of St. Peregrine.
I grew up Catholic with a mother who had an uncanny ability to know who the saints were and when their feast days were. I also grew up behind a Catholic Seminary and had befriended some of the seminarians as I walked and played in the fields behind my house and the Seminary property.
In January of 1994, when I found out I had cancer. One of the seminarians, Tolan planned on saying a prayer for me so he opened his saint book. When he randomly opened it, he opened it to St. Peregrine. What he didn’t know was that St. Peregrine IS the patron saint of all cancer patients. Not only did he learn something new that day, but he rushed across the field to our house to share what he had learned with us. Mom was shocked, and I feel an immediate connection with St. Peregrine.
Just as I asked others to pray for me, I asked St. Peregrine to pray for me.
The next day, mom when to the local Catholic book store to pick up a St. Peregrine medal. She had it blessed by a priest, and I prayed with it. I prayed to God, Jesus, Mary, Joseph, and now St. Peregrine. I prayed that my cancer would leave my body and I prayed I could get through the treatment.
A few years later, when I heard about a senior in my high school in a coma because of undiagnosed leukemia, I went to the hospital to talk to him. I pinned the St. Peregrine medal to his pillow and asked St. Peregrine to watch over him as well. Sadly, Jon died and when I saw his parents a few weeks later at a school memorial service, they returned the medal because they knew it had meant so much to me.
I knew Jon was now in Heaven, not only watching over his family but watching over me as well. When I wear my St. Peregrine medal, I smile and think of Jon as well. I had the ring welded shut so that it would never accidentally fall off my necklace and years later added the orange ribbon – leukemia’s ribbon color to my necklace.
I pray that St. Peregrine watch over all cancer patients, I pray he helps them heal, find comfort and strength as they fight cancer.