“By virtue of Baptism and Confirmation we are called to conform ourselves to Christ, who is the Good Samaritan for all who suffer. ‘We know love by this, that he laid down his life for us – and we ought to lay down our lives for one another’ (1 Jn 3:16). When we draw near with tender love to those in need of care, we bring hope and God’s smile to the contradictions of the world. When generous devotion to others becomes the hallmark of our actions, we give way to the Heart of Christ and bask in its warmth, and thus contribute to the coming of God’s Kingdom.”
~Pope Francis, 2014 World Day of the Sick – Paragraph 3
Monday, May 4 ~ Fifth Week in the Season of Easter
Saint Peregrine, Friar ~ Friar Servants of Mary (Servites)
Holy Gospel: John 14:21-26 Jesus said to his disciples: “Whoever has my commandments and observes them is the one who loves me. Whoever loves me will be loved by my Father, and I will love him and reveal myself to him.” Judas, not the Iscariot, said to him, “Master, then what happened that you will reveal yourself to us and not to the world?” Jesus answered and said to him, “Whoever loves me will keep my word, and my Father will love him, and we will come to him and make our dwelling with him. Whoever does not love me does not keep my words; yet the word you hear is not mine but that of the Father who sent me. “I have told you this while I am with you. The Advocate, the Holy Spirit whom the Father will send in my name he will teach you everything and remind you of all that I told you.”
Meditation: God’s love for each of us is as real and tangible as the love of a mother for her child and the love of a lover who gives all for his beloved. God made us for love – to know him personally and to grow in the knowledge of his great love for us. How can we know and be assured of the love of God? The Holy Spirit helps us to grow in the knowledge of God and his great love. The Spirit enables us to experience the love of God and to be assured of the Lord’s abiding presence with us (see Romans 8:35-39). The Holy Spirit also opens our ears to hear and understand the word of God. Do you listen attentively to God’s word and believe it? Ask the Holy Spirit to inflame your heart with the love of God and his word.
Prayer: O God, who have taught your Church to keep all the heavenly commandments by love of you as God and love of neighbor; grant that, practicing the works of charity after the example of Saint Peregrine we may be worthy to be numbered among the blessed in your Kingdom. Through our Lord Jesus Christ, your Son, who lives and reigns with you in the unity of the Holy Spirit, one God, for ever and ever. Amen.
Prayer to Saint Peregrine: O great Saint Peregrine, you have been called “The Mighty,” “The Wonder-Worker,” because of the numerous miracles which you have obtained from God for those who have had recourse to you. For so many years you bore in your own flesh this cancerous disease that destroys the very fiber of our being, and who had recourse to the source of all grace when the power of man could do no more. You were favored with the vision of Jesus coming down from His Cross to heal your affliction. Ask of God and Our Lady, the cure of the sick whom we entrust to you. (Pause here and silently recall the names of the sick for whom you are praying.) Aided in this way by your powerful intercession, we shall sing to God, now and for all eternity, a song of gratitude for His great goodness and mercy. Amen.
Contemplation: Do you know the love that surpasses all, and that love is stronger than death itself (ref. Song of Songs 8:6)? In Jesus’ last supper discourse he speaks of the love he has for his disciples and of his Father’s love. He prepares his disciples for his imminent departure to return to his Father by exhorting them to prove their love for him through their loyalty and obedience to his word. He promises them the abiding instruction and consolation of the Holy Spirit. Saint Augustine says “the Lord loves each of us as if there were only one of us to love.”
About Saint Peregrine: Peregrine labored for years as a brother in the Order of the Friar Servants of Mary and at age 60 was diagnosed with cancer of the leg brought on by many years of disciplined prayer while standing, resulting in varicose veins which became ulcerous. On the night before the scheduled amputation of his leg, Peregrine dragged himself to the foot of the cross in the community chapter room and fell into a deep trance-like sleep. Upon waking, Saint Peregrine was healed of a cancerous ulcer on his leg which was considered beyond saving. The fame of this event in 1325 spread rapidly round the western Church. Christians, and especially the sick, began to invoke his name and seek his intercession for the relief of their suffering and even for a cure from sickness. The canonization of St. Peregrine in 1726 increased people’s devotion to him which spread to the universal Church. Even with great developments in medicine, there are still many diseases which are incurable. Some of them are claiming more and more victims. Because of this, the prayers to this saint are becoming more intense and more frequent because this was a person who knew suffering and sickness in his life and also knew the power of divine grace helping him. The lesson of Peregrine’s life is not that God worked a miracle, but that a faithful, trustful servant placed himself, unconditionally, in the hands of our Lord. Peregrine’s trust in God can be a model for us in dealing with the pain, sickness and crosses of our lives. (Visit www.stperegrine.org)