The Saint Peregrine Novena, Cancer, and a Miracle
As a victim of breast cancer, in blessed remission for thirteen years, the fresh diagnosis (or recurrence) of a friend strikes cold fear in my heart. Once you are a part of the cancer club, your life is never quite the same. Fortunately, the grace of faith was given to me. I also have a husband who is part knight in shining armor and part court jester. These gifts from God carried me through the worst (and best) of times.
As a subscriber to the Pray More Novenas apostolate, I join in praying the Novena for the Intercession of St. Peregrine. As I pray, I dedicate my petition to people who have recently been diagnosed. I also pray for continued remission for both our daughter, Erika, and myself. Praying the Saint Peregrine Novena also prompts me to recall a special, personal miracle experienced in my own family.
A Frightening Setback
When our twenty-eight year old daughter was diagnosed with BRCA-1 breast cancer, she was 20 weeks pregnant. She immediately rejected the idea of abortion. A search for doctors who treat pregnant cancer patients brought us to MD Anderson Cancer Center, where she underwent chemotherapy. After the birth of her healthy daughter, there was more chemo, countless surgeries, and permanent nerve damage. All in all, the result was a blessing, though – a healthy baby and a cancer free mother.
Not long after the baby was born, she found herself with a frightening discovery. A prominent lump in her breast! Not ones to take these things lightly, we went straight to the oncologist’s office for advice. Since her own doctor was out, Erika saw my oncologist instead. He confirmed that there was cause for concern. The lump, when manipulated, featured ominous characteristics. Unfortunately, this occurred on a Friday. We were instructed to go home and come back for a scan on Monday.
Petitioning for Prayers
What a dread-filled weekend! No matter how strong your faith or your resolve, human frailty brings much trepidation – especially concerning the fear of the unknown. And so the fervent requests for intercessory prayer started. We contacted multiple prayer groups, friends were discretely informed, and most of all, the Passionist Nuns were contacted. Their prayer board, checked by all of the sisters, relayed this urgent need for prayer. A young mother, with two small children and a husband of just a few years, is a valued treasure to the world and to her family. I have no doubt that multitudes of fervent prayers went up that weekend.
Fast forward to Monday. Erika and I once again traveled to the oncology office – this time to seek the advice of her own doctor. While we sat in the exam room we prayed and worried. When Dr. M entered, he stoically got right down to the business of thorough palpitation of the offending area. He searched again and again, yet he found nothing. There was no large lump. There was no small lump. There was a blessed nothing!
As we traveled back home, in a stupor of joy and disbelief, we pondered what this meant. We had all felt the large lump – Erika, her husband, me, and most of all my experienced oncologist. It had been there – but now it wasn’t. Needless to say, many prayers of thanksgiving went out that day. We glorified God for His infinite mercy on a young family. All the countless friends and strangers who had prayed were also remembered. Much gratitude was certainly given to the Passionist Sisters, who I have no doubt had their role in petitioning for a miracle.
Erika is not without pain – permanent nerve damage and neuropathy have caused her to lose her job. Yet she is cancer free and her little ‘chemo baby’ is a very healthy, precocious 9 year old who, along with her almost 11 year old brother, has a mommy to call her own.
Saint Peregrine Novena
Won’t you join us as we pray the St. Peregrine Novena? There is an optional opportunity to publicly share your specific petition with other participants. You might also consider posting to social media and asking your friends to join. Cancer is a frightening diagnosis and prayer is a powerful weapon. Let’s join together to pray for victims, families, cures, accepting graces, and even a happy death – if that be His Will.
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Dear holy servant of God, St. Peregrine, we pray today for healing. Intercede for us! God healed you of cancer and others were healed by your prayers. Please pray for the physical healing of…(Mention your intentions) These intentions bring us to our knees seeking your intercession for healing.
We are humbled by our physical limitations and ailments. We are so weak and so powerless. We are completely dependent upon God. And so, we ask that you pray for us…
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