Feast of Cancer Saint celebrated at Father Muller
Mangaluru: The department of Oncology along with the Nursing Services Department of the Father Muller Medical College Hospital celebrates in uniqueness the Feast of St Peregrine Laziosi on 29 May 2023. The Z ward or the Oncology ward which houses patients with cancer made it their mission to celebrate their patron saint whose intersession has healed many and transformed their suffering into peace.
The catholic church has many saint who are also patron saint or saints of a cause as given by the church or the faithful. Peregrine Laziosi was born of a wealthy family at Forli, Italy, in 1260. As a youth he was active in politics as a member of the anti-papal party. His conversion of heart was when a priest he slapped showed his other cheek and then following the instructions of the Virgin Mary received in a vision, Peregrine went to Siena and joined the Servites. When he was afflicted with cancer of the foot and amputation had been decided upon, he spent the night before the operation, in prayer. The following morning, he was completely cured. This miracle caused his reputation to become widespread. He died in 1345 at the age of eighty-five, and he was canonized by Pope Benedict XIII in 1726.
The welcome note of the festal programme was delivered by Dr Sweekritha, Surgical Oncologist. The Nursing Services conducted the prayer service, with the prayer of the faithful and reflection on the bible reading. Student nurses portrayed through essay and skit the life and the divine providence bestowed of St Peregrine.
The Guest of Honour was Mrs Genevive Monteiro an ex-SBI bank employee, wife of Mr Gerald Monteiro, who was struck with breast cancer in 2013. Her sheer determination and trust in her doctors helped with the surgery but her mental peace dwindled due to the sickness. On continual prodding by Nursing Superintendent Mrs Helen Lobo to reflect at the statue of St Peregrine kept in the Z ward, to which she hesitantly did, bought her peace and the gift to fight the sickness. Even more that her son’s (Mario) letter to the Shrine in Chicago of the saint could not send her the religious articles at first, to her surprise the articles were posted and received by her in a weeks’ time. Her ardent faith in the saint made her ask her beloved late friend to give her the relic of the saint with the blessed oil with a vow to visit the Shrine at USA. Her surprise knew know bounds when she was part of the book release on the first Saturday where Fr Chrimsone had complied her son’s testimony in the 7 miracles around the world of the saint at the shrine in USA.
Rev. Fr Richard Aloysius Coelho, Director of the Father Muller Charitable Institutions in his address spoke of empathizing and sharing in one’s happiness and grief. The world is one and in that oneness should we all share each other’s sufferings and pain, to help in healing and care. The testimony of Mrs Genevive is itself the greatness of the saint whose healing which he wished for all those admitted in the ward. He praised the doctors of the oncology team who care and shed tears for patients, which helps in giving courage and succor. Lastly, he stressed on all gathered to have faith in God, for the Almighty provides and takes, irrespective of religion.
Mr Egbert Dsouza, proprietor of St Joseph Art and Printer who donated a statue of St Peregrine gifted the winners of various competitions held by the nursing service in the ward. Assistant Nursing Superintendent Mrs Tara Machado read the vote of thanks. Ms Deeksha of the staff nurse c compeered the programme. Members of the Management Committee, faculty of Oncology (Medical, surgical, Radio-therapy), nursing services of the ward, few patients and guests made their presence.