A St. Peregrine prayer room is housed within Serra Chapel at Mission San Juan Capistrano.
Photo by Drew Kelley/Diocese of Orange.
Article from: OC Catholic
Christ Cathedral is hosting a special Mass on May 4 for the Feast Day of St. Peregrine, the patron saint of cancer and at-risk youth.
The celebrant is a visiting Servite Order priest, Fr. Joseph Chamblain, pastor of Assumption Church in Chicago. A fellow Servite priest, Fr. Michael Pontarelli, pastor of St. Juliana Falconieri parish in Fullerton, is the organizer and a concelebrant.
The Mass begins at 6 p.m. A blessing with a St. Peregrine relic will be given for all who wish to come forward and receive one. Frs. Joseph and Michael are hoping this special Mass will become an annual tradition in the Diocese of Orange.
“It will also provide an opportunity to be introduced to this saint for all those not familiar with him,” said Fr. Joseph.
Peregrine Laziosi was born in Italy in the late 13th century, a time of tremendous social change in the region.
“Because of that, lives were disturbed, said Fr. Joseph. “There was violence and as a young man, he got caught up in that. He would’ve been considered a street gang member today.”
Eventually, St. Peregrine was converted by a Servite friar and joined the order. He spent the rest of his life caring for the sick and the poor, “the marginalized people he would’ve bullied earlier in life,” Fr. Joseph said.
St. Peregrine was also said to need a leg amputation because of cancer, but the cancer miraculously disappeared the night before the amputation after following his praying.
St. Peregrine was canonized in 1726.
There is a history of devotion to St. Peregrine in the Diocese of Orange, including a special prayer room named after him at Mission San Juan Capistrano. Mission Basilica, as well as St. Juliana Falconieri and St. Philip Benizi parishes in Fullerton, also host a devotional prayer and blessing with a relic of St. Peregrine on the first Saturday of each month.
Fr. Michael said St. Peregrine is one of those saints who nearly everyone can relate to.
“If you were to ask the congregation who has cancer or knows someone with cancer, pretty soon you get everyone standing up,” he said. “To have someone to intercede for these people who suffer from cancer and gangs, he should be well-known.”
Fr. Joseph, who has served as director of the National Shrine of St. Peregrine in Chicago, added: “We’re all dealing with these issues, this crime and violence and division. This was the world in which Peregrine lived and was raised in. He found healing and a direction in life. Really, I think he’s coming into his own as an intercessor for our country and our world as we seek to find our way back to one another.”