St. Peregrine Laziosi
Peregrine Laziosi was born
in Forli, Italy in 1265. At that time, Forli was governed by the Pope as part
of the Papal States. As a young man,
Peregrine led a rebellious and
dissolute life and was very hostile to the Church. He grew up in a family of well-to-do
parents who were actively involved in the anti-papal party. Because of anti-papal political activity,
the city was under the church penalty of interdict. This meant that Mass and the Sacraments
could not be celebrated in the city.
St Philip Benizi, the Prior General of the Servants of Mary was sent to Forli to preach the reconciliation of the city and the removal of the penalty. Young Peregrine was so intense in his political commitment that he heckled St. Philip during the preaching and at one point punched St. Philip viciously in the face. This good and gentle saint meekly turned the other cheek. The moment of striking St. Philip seemed to drastically change Peregrine.
Suddenly Peregrine was confronted with the ugliness and suffering of his own life. He had given himself to people in similar situations and then found he must lean on his own faith in the goodness of God. At the age of 60, he was challenged to carry a new and more difficult cross. The night before the surgery, Peregrine prayed before the image of the crucified Christ. His prayer led him into a deep trance-like sleep during which he envisioned the crucified Christ leaving the cross and touching his cancerous leg. When Peregrine awoke from the trance of prayer, the wound was healed and the leg was saved.
© Friends of St. Peregrine, Inc.