Wednesday, 21 November 2012

St. Peregrine

Icon, "St. Peregrine", by the hand of Sarah "Sallie" Thayer, 2012

At the moment, there seem to be far too many people in my life suffering from cancer -- that dreaded disease.  As a consequence, I am spending a lot more time asking St. Peregrine to intercede for these acquaintances and friends.  Thank goodness that God has given us friends in Heaven who seem to have been assigned a particular apostolate.  I am especially grateful that God has deigned to tell us, through the Church, just who these friends are.  Now, let me tell you about dear St. Peregrine just in case you are not familiar with him.  Sooner or later every one's life is touched by cancer in some way.

Peregrine was born in Forli, Italy, around 1265. At that time, Forli was governed by the Pope as part of the Papal States, and Peregrine grew up in a family that was actively involved in the opposition, or anti-papal party. Because of anti-papal activity, the city was under the church penalty of interdict, meaning that Mass and the Sacraments could not be celebrated there.

St. Philip Benizi, Prior General of the Servants of Mary, went to Forli to preach reconciliation. Young Peregrine, very intense in his political fervour, not only heckled Philip during his preaching, but, in fact, struck him. Philip, instead of responding with anger and violence to the attack, turned and forgave Peregrine. This encounter with Philip is said to have dramatically changed Peregrine. He began channeling his energy into good works and eventually joined the Servants of Mary in Siena, Italy.

He returned to Forli, where he spent the rest of his life, dedicating himself to the sick, the poor, and those on the fringes of society. He also imposed on himself the penance of standing whenever it was not necessary to sit. This led to varicose veins, which later deteriorated into an open sore on his leg, and was eventually diagnosed as cancer.

Peregrine's leg wound became so serious that the local surgeon decided to amputate the leg. The night before the surgery, Peregrine prayed before the image of the crucified Christ, and when he awoke, the wound was healed and his leg saved. He lived another 20 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.* [Feast Day May 1st]

St Peregrine -- Prayer for A Cancer Patient
O great St. Peregrine, you have been called "The Mighty", "The Wonder Worker" because of the numerous miracles which you obtained from God for those who have turned to you in their need. For so many years, you bore in your own flesh this cancerous disease that destroys the very fibre of our being. You turned to God when the power of human beings could do no more, and you were favoured with the vision of Jesus coming down from His cross to heal your affliction. I now ask God to heal this sick person whom I entrust to you. (NAME) Aided by your powerful intercession, I shall sing with Mary a hymn of gratitude to God for His great goodness and mercy. Amen.

*Biographical information taken from Servites web site at

One month ago tomorrow, I was packing to go to the hospital for surgery.  Even though I knew that October the 22nd was a special day for me, I pushed that knowledge aside in the rush to prepare both for my hospital stay and for the arrival of my friend, Brenda.  What was special about the 22nd?  October 22nd is the feast day assigned to Blessed Pope John Paul the II.  If I recall correctly, it was the day that he was elected to be our Holy Father in 1978.

Icon, "Blessed Pope John Paul II", by the hand of Sarah "Sallie" Thayer, 2012

I had actually prepared a new icon (above) for his feast day, but since I did not have an opportunity to use it then, I am using it now in anticipation of the 22nd of November.  It is the American Thanksgiving and Blessed Pope John Paul II is definitely one of the things I am most thankful for in my life as his writings and teaching brought me so deeply into the our wonderful Catholic faith in two particular areas:  realizing more completely that it is our Lord Jesus, Body, Blood, Soul and Divinity, who meets us and feeds us in the Holy Eucharist; and, that suffering is a great gift for me and for the Church when offered to God in union with the Passion of our Lord Jesus Christ.

This is my third attempt at preparing an icon of our late Holy Father.



If I can just hide out until tomorrow night,
I will have survived another Thanksgiving
-- and you better believe, I will be very thankful!
Happy Thanksgiving to all my family and friends in the U.S.A.  I wish I could be with them tomorrow -- not that I really feel like eating a big dinner, but it would just be wonderful to see them all once again.

I got an email from my sister today with some photos attached.  Here is one of the pictures she sent:

My sister cheering on her granddaughter
who came in 4th out of 100 girls!

Look at the beautiful, mild weather they are having down there.  Now if I just had a magic carpet, I could set that thing on cruise control and head on down to the "sweet, sunny south".  Ah, well, it makes a nice day dream!!

My sister's grandson, Daniel
Here he is standing in the Smokies
a few weeks ago...

My sister's grandson, Cole
He has a booth at the school bazaar
where he is selling "Panther Rocks" --
I wonder if I will get one of those
for Christmas?!!


Suki getting a neck rub from her Aunt Jess.
Here is a new photo of Suki with another friend of mine.  She is getting quite chummy with all my friends now.  I think having Brenda here for those 5 days when I was in the hospital caused Suki to loosen up quite a bit.  She seems much more comfortable now with visitors.

Of course, she is still up to her old tricks.  Today I had a visit from the friend who used to be terribly afraid of cats.  She has obviously gotten better, but somehow, like all cats, Suki knows.  Soon after my friend (I'll call her K) arrived, Suki came out of the bedroom, paid no attention to me, but headed straight for K.  After sniffing K's feet for a few moments, Suki then proceeded to get up on the sofa and park herself right behind K, sitting on the back of the sofa and staying there until it was time for K to leave.  How did Suki know?

No one has ever been able to figure out how cats know which people are afraid of them or don't like them and then why they make a beeline for that very person and insist on staying right beside them.  Maybe the cats know about how irrational fears can be overcome by subjecting the person to small doses of what they fear, starting in safe environments!  Who knows how much these strange creatures know about us and how much is instinct...

As for me, I am doing pretty much the same so there is no need to repeat things.  I keep hoping that I will awaken one morning and be all better, but so far that hasn't happened.  Please keep praying for me and sending good thoughts my way.

May the peace of God be with us all.

St. Peregrine, please pray for all those suffering from cancer.

Blessed Pope John Paul II, please pray for us.

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