In September, many parishioners came together to pray the nine day novena to St. Peregrine — The patron saint of Cancer Patients and all those who are ill. We had nearly 500 names placed in our Book of Intentions to be remembered as we prayed each morning at 8 AM and evening at 9 PM. Here are some of the experiences along the prayer journey.
“I give thanks for this wonderful Parish Family of St George, and the many opportunities for communal prayer and reflection. Recently I experienced the power in praying together as a community in the novena to St. Peregrine. I have heard of one of our parishioners who is now in remission following this powerful novena.”
“The personal faith sharing of Deacons Dennis and Mark, And Fr. Pedro each evening and the words that spoke to them helped us to really focus on the message. The first evening the word was “Courage” the second evening “Strength” the third evening “Faith” the fourth “Believe” These two words ” Faith” and “Believe” spoke to me very powerfully. The need for “Perseverance” in prayer was also a powerful reminder.
Another evening the two words offered were “Faith” and “Hope”. As a member of the parish Prayer Line, the opportunity to come together in a communal way and pray for the needs of so many was awesome.”
The St. Peregrine Novena offered an opportunity to come together as a community to pray for personal intentions and, to also pray for the intentions of others. The number of names written in the Book of Intentions for this novena, (over four hundred), was a vital reminder of our collective need for prayer, for God and for each other.
This time of family prayer — brothers and sisters – in – Christ gathering together — was a gentle and profound sign of our faith. I was reminded of the beauty of our faith as we gathered to pray, asking in particular, for St. Peregrine’s intercession. What a privilege to know that the Saints are our friends and that their prayers are gifts to and for us; they carry our petitions to God!
Our time spent in prayer for those around us and for the silent intentions of our own hearts is not an activity that is easily defined. Entering into the church to pray ushers us into God’s presence. I was reminded of God’s promise to be with us, “when any two or three are gathered in his name.” (Matthew 18:20). Is God with us always? Yes. Can we and should we pray alone? Absolutely. However, there is a palpable presence of the Spirit when one is in church to pray in a group or for Adoration. And this presence shapes our hearts and minds into more of what God desires.
The grace I received from this time of prayer was gratitude and an increase in faith. I know I have much to be thankful for, however, the reminder of it was important. It has helped to clear my mind and to redirect my thoughts to God and away from worry. This increase in faith has caused me to realize that, though there will always be struggles in life, I know that our hope is found in God, and that His goodness and strength are always available to each of us.
We can all at times feel totally helpless. Even someone like myself who works in the medical field. I have family and friends who are afflicted with cancer, Alzheimer’s, mental illness and addiction and I needed to do more for them. So where should I turn? I needed to turn to prayer and the St. Peregrine Novena and the loving and supportive church family at St. George’s.
Illness and the concern over the well-being of our loved ones has affected us all. Seeing that book of names on the altar and all those people of our parish who were asking for our prayers, really moved me. Being able to pray with confidence and perseverance for the intersession of St. Peregrine in the lives of all those in need gave me a tremendous gift- the gift of knowing that I am never helpless with the Lord and His Saints on my side.
“For the last year we have joined Pray More Novenas.com which provides beautiful prayers for special blessings. When St George offered to pray a Novena to St Peregrine as a community, we were ready to give it a try. The prayers to St Peregrine were powerful and to be part of a group of parishioners praying for over 500 people suffering from cancer or other illnesses, made each evening a peaceful and compassionate opportunity to pray for their healing. “
“Our family had a personal request to St Peregrine and at the end of nine days we received some encouraging medical results. We have a long journey ahead but we continue to pray for healing and strength. I look forward to the next Novena.”
If you missed the St. Peregrine Novena, you can still pray it by going to the parish website. There you can find video and audio versions of each morning session. Take a retreat on your own and draw closer to Christ through the intercession of St. Peregrine!!