Patron of Cancer Victims (1260-1345)
The only child of wealthy parents, Peregrine Laziosi was the leader of the "anti-papal" party in Forli Italy when he was only eighteen Peregrine was, like most people in his city at that time, strongly opposed to the Catholic church. A pious priest named Philip Benizi was sent to Forli by the pope to preach to the people there. While Philip was praying a disturbance broke out, and the priest was insulted by the crowd and struck on the face by Peregrine. Father Benizi's only response to the attack was the said he would pray for Peregrine. This so moved Peregrine that he droppped to his knees to ask forgiveness and experienced and immediate conversion.
Peregrine made a dramatic change in his lifestyle. He prayed often to the Blessed Mother, on one occasion, while praying in the cathedral. Peregrine saw a vision of Mary surrounded by angels. She told him to join the Order of The Servants of Mary of which Father Benizi belonged, and become a priest. Peregrine showed great humility and self-sacrifice as he prepared to become a priest. Upon completion of his training, he was given permission to return to Forli to work with the people there. He was often seen with the sick and the dying in the hospitals, prison, and home of the poor.
Because of the long hours that he spent on his feet, a sore on Peregrine's foot had become cancerous. The night before his leg was amputated. Peregrine prayed that he would be able to continue his work, but humbled himself to the will of God. The image of Jesus, on the crucifix in front of him reached down to heal Peregrine's foot. In the morning there was not trace of the disease. Peregrine lived until he was eighty years old