Also known as: Peregrinus
Born: Forli, Italy 1265
Died: Forli, Italy May 1, 1345
Beatified: September 11, 1702 by Pope Clement XI
Canonized: December 27, 1726 by Pope Benedict XIII
Patronage: Cancer patients; against cancer; AIDS sufferers; breast cancer; open sores; sick people; skin diseases; Forli,Italy
Saint Peregrine was born wealthy, and spent a wild, worldly youth, and became involved in politics. He was initially strong anti-Catholic. At the time, Forli was governed by the Pope as part of the Papal States, and Peregrine's family was involved in the opposition to the Papal rule. The city was under the Church penalty of interdict which meant that Mass and the Sacraments could not be celebrated there. Saint Philip Benizi had gone to Forli to preach reconciliation, and the impetuous Peregrine struck him across the face, and Saint Philip Benizi, calmly turned the other cheek, prayed for Peregrine, and Peregrine converted.
Peregrine received a vision of Our Lady who told him to go to Siena, Italy and join the Servites. After training and ordination he was assigned to his home town. He lived and worked in silence and in solitude as much as possible, and without sitting down for 30 years as penance for his youthful life. When he did speak, he was an excellent orator, fervent preacher, and gentle confessor.
At the age of 60, as a result of his penance from all those years of standing, he developed varicose veins which deteriorated into an open, running sore on his leg, which was eventually diagnosed as cancer. The sore became so obvious, odorous, and painful, that Peregrine was scheduled to have the leg amputated. All night long the night before the operation, he prayed before the image of the crucified Christ. He received a vision of Christ coming down from the Cross and touching and healing his leg. Upon awakening, he found the sore healed, and his leg saved. He lived another 20 years before dying of natural causes at the age of 80. The people of Forli chose him as the Patron Saint of their city.