Origin of the Servites or “Servants of Mary”
Seven wealthy young merchants in 2017 might be expected to be in cohorts with the founders of various social networking sites. But in 1233, these seven decided to do something very different – they wanted to live a more radical Christian life and rejected the worldly life of the city. They came together to found a religious society honoring Mary, the Mother of God, the Queen of Heaven.
Initially called Laudesi, “Praisers,” they retreated to Monte Senario, building a hermitage and church in order to devote themselves to prayer, penance and poverty. Officially the order was recognized somewhere between 1240 and 1247 as the “Friar Servites/Servants of Mary.”
The seven were: John Bonaiuncta, Manettus dell’Antella, Amadeus degli Amidei, Hugh Uguccione, Sosthenes Sostegno, Alexis Falconieri and the first leader Bonfilius Monaldi. Their collective feast day is today.
Many Servites are well known for various reasons, but the most famous example is St. Peregrine.
St. Peregrine Laziosi (1265-1345) imposed a penance on himself to stand whenever it was not necessary to sit. As a result, he ended up with terrible and tumorous varicose veins. The night before his leg was to be amputated, he prayed before a crucifix. He awoke healed and lived another 20 years. His incorrupt body remains at the Servite Church of Forli and his feast day is the 4th of May. He is invoked for cases of cancer.
Healings and miracles
In the comments at praymorenovenas.com, there are many, many prayer requests. But if you look deeply enough, you start also seeing cures. Here was what I found today:
- A total disappearance of kidney cancer (doctors could do no more for the patient) (17th Feb.)
- Another whose cancer nodes totally disappeared. Another whose nodes had diminished. (16th Feb)
- Another cure from cancer (3rd Feb)
- Another mentions a cure from 2001, and is still cancer-free today.
- Another one mentions a complete cure from lung cancer (30th Jan)
A whole bunch of cures mentioned here in a forum thread at Catholic.com:
Of particular interest is one story of a mother diagnosed with stage 4 breast cancer when she was 7 months pregnant. This was in 1962. She prayed constantly (along with others) for the following two months. Not only did she successfully complete her pregnancy, but she then lived another 40+ years!
Another testimony this time from the Basilica of St. Anne in Quebec – This cure took several intercessors, but St. Peregrine was one of them…
A lady from Elsipogtog, New Brunswick writes: “Three years ago my brother was suffering from bowel cancer. The cancer had spread to his kidneys, bladder and stomach. He went to hospital for surgery but the doctors found that the cancerous tissue was too far developed to be removed. The only remaining option was chemotherapy and radiation treatment; it was hoped that the cancerous tissue would decrease and it could then be removed by surgery. If these treatments were not successful, he was given six months to live. He decided to fight the cancer with the help of Good Saint Anne and the Blessed Mother. Several months later, the cancer had significantly reduced and a part of the cancerous tissue was able to be removed by surgery. In June 2004 he asked me to take him to Saint Anne de Beaupré. He was released from hospital after the operation and we went directly to Sainte Anne de Beaupré. He bought a medal of Saint Peregrine and prayed to be cured of the cancer. Two days later, we returned to Elsipogtog. In the months following our pilgrimage to Saint Anne, he continued his chimo treatments. He prayed every day to Good Saint Anne and to Saint Peregrine. He returned to see his doctor to find out if the cancer was progressing or not. To his surprise, he found out that the bowel, kidneys, bladder and stomach were all free from cancer. For two years, my brother has been cured from cancer. My brother lost his medal of Saint Peregrine for a few months and he was quite upset. He looked for months and months and finally found it in his camper. He was surprised when he saw the medal – it had changed colour. Enclosed and sealed in plastic, it had turned a reddish colour. It seemed that the my brother’s cancer had been taken from his body and transferred to his medal. When I went on another pilgrimage to Saint Anne, he wanted this medallion to be placed at the Shrine as an ex-voto. My brother is now completely cured of cancer.
Prayers and Novenas
O great St. 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 fibre of our being, and who had recourse to the source of all grace when the power of man could do no more. You were favoured 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.
GLORIOUS WONDER-WORKER, St. Peregrine,
You answered the divine call
With a ready spirit,
And forsook all the comforts of the world
To dedicate yourself to God
In the Order of His Most Holy Mother.
You labored manfully
For the salvation of souls;
And in union with Jesus Crucified
You endured the most painful sufferings
With such patience
As to deserve to be
Of an incurable cancer
In your leg by a touch
Of his divine hand.
Obtain for me
The grace to answer
Every call of God
And to fulfill His Will
In all the events of life.
Enkindle in my heart
A consuming zeal
For the salvation of souls;
Deliver me from the infirmities
that afflict my body
(name your petition)
Obtain for me
Perfect resignation to the sufferings
It may please God to send me,
So that, imitating our Crucified Savior
And His Sorrowful Mother,
I may merit eternal glory in heaven.
St. Peregrine, pray for me
And for all who invoke your aid. (3 times)
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…
Day 1 – Pray for us, that we will not let sickness bring us to despair
Day 2 – Pray for us, that we may persevere in hope
Day 3 – Pray for us, that we will have the courage to offer up our suffering in unity with the Cross
Day 4 – Pray for us, that the loneliness of our suffering will be consoled
Day 5 – Pray for us, that the fear of death will be replaced with the hope of everlasting life
Day 6 – Pray for us, that our suffering will not rob us of joy
Day 7 – Pray for us, that in our pain we will not become selfish but ever more selfless
Day 8 – Pray for us, that this sickness will teach me to depend more and more on God
Day 9 – Pray for us, that our lives will glorify God alone
We know, St. Peregrine, that you are a powerful intercessor because your life was completely given to God. We know that in as much as you pray for our healing, you are praying even more for our salvation.
A life of holiness like yours is more important that a life free of suffering and disease. Pray for our healing, but pray even more that we might come as close to Our Lord as you are.
Glory be to the Father and to the Son and to the Holy Spirit, as it was in the beginning is now and ever shall be, world without end. Amen