About St. Peregrine Laziosi: A Short Biography
It's amazing the paths by which some people have found spirituality
and meaning in life. It's even more miraculous to think that from
an accidental - even violent encounter - a saint could emerge.
But that's just what happened in the case of the Catholic saint,
Peregrine Laziosi, born in 1260 into a wealthy Italian family,
discovered the power of Christianity quite accidentally. As a
member of an anti-papal political group, he participated in an
uprising in which Philip Benizi had been sent by the Pope to mediate.
Frustrated and angry, He struck Philip in the face during part
of the negotiations. But the response from this emissary of the
Pope - who himself would become one of the saints of the church
- shocked the emotional Laziosi.
What did Philip do? The only Christian act he could do; he offered
him the other cheek to strike as well.
Peregrine, recognizing the spiritual power behind a man to command
him to take this action, immediately not only apologized for his
behavior, but converted to Catholicism.
It's said that following his conversion, he saw a vision of the
Virgin Mary, who instructed him to join the Servites, the religious
order that considered itself a servant of Mary.
But the spiritual power of coincidence continued strong in St.
Peregrine's life. The priest who accepted his entrance into the
monastery was none other than Philip -- the same individual he
had struck that prompted his conversion.
Legend contends that again overwhelmed with the power he stood
for 30 years in penance for his actions against Philip. During
this time he attempted to remain silent as well as retain as much
time alone as possible.
Later, though, the order instructed him to return to his hometown
of Forli, Italy, to found a new house for the order. Here, thanks
to his hard work and his dedication, he gained the enviable reputation
as being the ideal priest. He preached ardently and was known
as an excellent confessor.
Cancer eventually struck him in the foot. He prepared himself
for an amputation of the affected limb by praying intensely at
the foot of a crucifix. He finally fell into a trance-like state
in which he had a vision of Jesus Christ touching his foot. Miraculously,
he woke the next morning with his foot completely healed.
He died at the age of 80 and was canonized in 1726, some 400
years after his birth.
St. Peregrine became the patron saint of those suffering with
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