About St. Peregrine Laziosi
Saint Peregrine (Pellegrino) Laziosi (Latiosi) (1260 – 1 May 1345) is an Italian saint of the Servite Order (Friar Order Servants of Mary). He is the patron saint for persons suffering from cancer according to the Catholic Church.
He was born in Forlì in the year 1260, in northern Italy, of a wealthy family. His parents and almost the whole city was anti-clerical. Once, the pope sent a special representative to Forli to preach a sermon and try to win the people's hearts over to God. This representative was a saint called Philip Benizi. Saint Philip preached to the crowd. At first, things went well and the people listened. Then, Peregrine showed up with his gang of troublemakers and they drove Saint Philip from the pulpit. Peregrine went further than all of them and slapped Saint Philip in the face. Saint Philip offered the other cheek and forgave him. Peregrine was so full of remorse that he went back to Saint Philip and apologized. After this, Peregrine did not feel like going with his friends anymore. He spent more time in prayer. Mary once appeared to him and directed him to go to Siena. There he joined the Servants of Mary or the Servites. The superior who received him was Saint Philip Benizi. There he did penance for his sins.
One of the special penances he decided on was to stand whenever it was not necessary to sit. It is said that St. Peregrine did not sit for thirty years, which caused him to develop varicose veins and then cancer on his leg and foot. The sores became painful and doctors prepared to amputate his foot, but the night before the surgery was scheduled to take place Peregrine dragged himself to the foot of a crucifix and spent many hours in prayer. When he fell asleep he received a vision of Christ touching his foot. In the morning his foot was completely healed. He is therefore considered the patron saint of those suffering from cancer.
The Catholic Church canonized Peregrine in 1726. The liturgical feast of Saint Pellegrino/Peregrine is on May 1.