Rev. William Saucier
CHICKASAW — Rev. William Saucier and the parish family of St. Thomas the Apostle in Chickasaw have invited all to join them on the last Sunday of every month following the 4 p.m. Mass for public veneration and blessing of a first-class relic of Saint Peregrine Laziosi, Patron Saint of Cancer Patients.
Saint Peregrine Laziosi was born of a wealthy family at Forli, Italy, in 1260. In his youth, Peregrine was active in politics. During an uprising he attended, Peregrine struck the Papal representative Saint Philip Benizi in the face. When Saint Philip offered the other cheek, Peregrine was so overcome that he repented, converted to Catholicism and joined the Servite Religious Order.
Later in life, he was afflicted with cancer of the foot. His doctors decided that amputation was the course of treatment. Peregrine spent the night before the operation in prayer asking for the wisdom and strength to accept whatever God willed. That next morning he was completely cured. This miracle caused his reputation to become widespread. He died in 1345 at the age of 85 and was canonized by Pope Benedict XIII in 1726. He later became the Patron Saint of Cancer Patients.
A relic can be the body of a saint (any part thereof), any part of their clothing or any item which was intimately connected with the saint. The veneration of relics of the saints can be traced back to the middle of the second century as the early Christian community experienced persecution under the Roman Empire.
As the number of Christian martyrs began to rise, other Christians would visit the tombs of the martyrs praying that God would grant them the same strength and courage exhibited by these holy ones.