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The Importance of Saint Peregrine Today
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 Servite family – with its friars, sisters, secular, and lay members – is committed across the world to offering a “ministry of compassion” in a spirit of service towards those who are sick and suffering.
Exodus 30:22-25 "And the Lord spoke to Moses, Saying: Take spices, of principal and chosen myrrh five hundred sicles, and of cinnamon half so much, that is, two hundred and fifty sicles, of calamus in like manner two hundred and fifty. And of cassia five hundred sicles by the weight of the sanctuary, of oil of olives the measure hin: And thou shalt make the holy oil of unction, an ointment compounded after the art of the perfumer..."
James 5:14 "Is any man sick among you? Let him bring in the priests of the church, and let them pray over him, anointing him with oil in the name of the Lord."
Legends surround the ampullae used to hold the holy oils used, in addition to the oil of catechumens, in coronating the monarchs of England and France.
A French legend relates that the holy oil used in crowning the French monarchs was brought down from Heaven by a dove bearing an ampulla at the Baptism of Clovis, the warring Salic Frank, by Bishop Remigius ("Remi") at Reims on Christmas Day, A.D. 496. The conversion of Clovis to Christianity was the beginning of France's status as "elder daughter of the Church." The dove-borne vial, known in France as the "Sainte Ampoule," is reserved at the cathedral of Reims to this day.
In England, the Blessed Virgin is said to have appeared to St. Thomas à Becket and given him an eagle-shaped ampulla filled with holy oil, and a golden spoon to be used to crown England's Kings. The ampulla was lost for two centuries, but was discovered before Henry IV's coronation in 1399. When the oil it contained was used on the Protestant Queen Elizabeth I in 1559, it is said to have gone rancid; she is said to have remarked that "the grease smelt ill." Whether these legends are true or not, the eagle-shaped ampulla is now reserved at the Tower of London with the rest of the Crown Jewels.