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Catholic Shrines Where They Pray for Cancer Patients

Updated on November 18, 2015

Many Prayers are Being Offered

It's safe to say that prayers are being offered for cancer patients in every Catholic parish. Part of the reason is that we consider this a Spiritual Work of Mercy, part of our duty to pray for the living and the dead.

However, we are also in the midst of a crisis. Cancer is an epidemic throughout the developed world. This includes the United States, where one of of three people can expect to be diagnosed within their lifetime.

In 2014, it's estimated that 1,665,540 people throughout the United States will be told they have cancer. The disease will also take 585,720 lives.

But we don't need statisticians to tell us what we already know. We just have to look around and count the number of people undergoing cancer treatments.

If there's anything good that can be said about cancer, it's that more prayers than ever are being said on behalf of those caught in the grips of this disease. A number of shrines throughout the United States are specifically devoted to people with cancer, as well as their loved ones.

Saint Peregrine healed of cancerous sore.
Saint Peregrine healed of cancerous sore. | Source

Christ the King Parish in Mesa, Arizona

There is a special ministry at Christ the King Parish in Mesa, Arizona ,just for cancer patients. People can visit the church's St. Peregrine Shrine to offer their prayer petitions for physical and spiritual healing.

The shrine, constructed in 2009, is 2,300 square feet and includes a perpetual adoration chapel, where people can pray in front of the exposed Blessed Sacrament, which Catholics believe is the Body and Blood of Christ.

(The Biblical basis for this belief is found in the Gospel of Saint John, Chapter 6, in what we call "The Bread of Life Discourse." Jesus told the crowd at Capernaum, several times, that they must eat His flesh and drink His blood.)

The shrine is named after Saint Peregrine because he is one of the patron saints of cancer patients. He was stricken with the disease himself, but was miraculously healed.

Catholics in and around Mesa have weekly times when they pray as a group for the sick at Christ the King church. There is also a petition book where people can enter the names of acquaintances, friends and family members suffering from cancer.

Christ the King Parish, Mesa Arizona:
Mesa, AZ, USA

get directions

Saint Peregrine Shrine at San Juan Capistrano.
Saint Peregrine Shrine at San Juan Capistrano. | Source

How Saint Peregrine Recovered

Saint Peregrine was a 13th-century Italian saint who developed an ulcer on his leg. It was diagnosed as cancer, and he was scheduled for an amputation, in an attempt to save his life.

However, the operation was cancelled. He was miraculously healed after praying before a Crucifix, just in time for his leg to be spared. Because the healing was immediate and complete, with no other intervention, it considered a miracle.

Saint Peregrine's cancer never returned. In fact, he lived another two decades cancer free, until he died of a totally unrelated cause when he was nearly 80.

Statues of Saint Peregrine can be found in various Catholic parishes and in private homes as well. He is shown exposing his once-cancerous leg. Sometimes the malignant sore is depicted as well.

Entrance to Saint Peregrine Shrine at Mission.
Entrance to Saint Peregrine Shrine at Mission. | Source

EWTN Family Prayer for Cancer

The National Shrine of Saint Peregrine

The national Saint Peregrine Shrine is located in Chicago, at a basilica named after Our Lady of Sorrows. This is a Catholic devotion that recounts the sufferings endured by Our Blessed Mother, from when she was told by Simeon that her Son would be a sign of contradiction (foretelling His Passion) to the day His lifeless body was buried in the tomb.

It's very fitting that prayers for cancer patients are offered here, as so many of us are deeply sorrowful as we watch our loved ones decline in health.

Each month a special Mass is offered for the sick at the Saint Peregrine shrine. A separate monthly Mass in Spanish for the same intention is also offered.

This shrine is run by a religious order of men known as the Friar Servants of Mary, also known as the Servites. The Servites also have another St. Peregrine chapel at the Grotto, an outdoor sanctuary also dedicated to Our Lady of Sorrows.

There is also a Saint Peregrine's chapel at Mission San Juan Capistrano in California.

The National Shrine of Saint Jude.
The National Shrine of Saint Jude. | Source

The National Shrine of Saint Jude

The National Shrine of Saint Jude is located in Chicago and is run by the Claretian Missionaries. Saint Jude was one of the Apostles, and a cousin of Jesus. Through the centuries, Catholics have asked his help with desperate causes, such as cancer. That's because in the Epistle of Saint Jude, he encourages the early Christians to keep their faith, no matter how trying it becomes or how much pressure they endure.

Saint Jude novenas are often said for cancer patients. A novena is a Catholic tradition of praying for nine consecutive days, in memory of when the early disciples prayed for nine days leading up to Pentecost.

Catholic tradition holds that Saint Jude was martyred, probably in what was once the region of Persia. He is credited with bringing Christianity to Armenia.

Saint Jude with flame above head.
Saint Jude with flame above head. | Source
Saint Therese the Little Flower.
Saint Therese the Little Flower. | Source

The National Shrine of Saint Therese

The National Shrine of Saint Therese is located in Darien, Illinois. Many petitions are placed there, or are sent their over the Internet. Although she is not one of the first saints we may think about when we ask for help, for a person suffering from cancer, many people ask her intercession from Heaven when a loved one is sick.

Saint Therese was born in France in 1873. She had a very happy early children until her mother died from breast cancer when she was just four. Afterwards, she was devastated. The natural sadness of losing a mother was compounded by her very sensitive nature.

She suffered another loss when her older sister, Pauline, to whom she was very attached, left the family home to join a convent. Later, Therese followed her to the convent.

Saint Therese is one of the most popular saints today. She had a very simple, childlike faith with total trust in God. She died of tuberculosis when she was just 24.

Although she was cloistered, and far removed from the world, she became famous after her death when her autobiography was published.

Cancer Step Outside the Box

A New Way of Looking at Cancer

The number of cancer cases continues to rise. This disease now kills one out of every four people in the United States. Many people are now calling for a new ways of treating this condition, which don't involve radiation or toxic pharmaceuticals.

Chemotherapy is sold directly to patients by their oncologists. There is usually a large markup involved. It's an open secret in the field of oncology that chemotherapy does not cure metastatic breast, colon, lung and prostate cancer. Treatment given at this stage are designed to be "palliative," given in the hope it relieves suffering.

In the United States, oncologists are not allowed to recommend alternative therapies, designed for metastatic cancer. However, this is not the case in other countries, such as Germany and Mexico.

Many patients now choose to travel for their treatment. An entire medical tourism industry has sprung up to serve these patients.


This article is intended for information and discussion purposes only, and is not mean to be used for treatment decisions or for recommendations. People with health concerns should discuss them with a licensed practitioner.


I am a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to


Submit a Comment
  • ologsinquito profile imageAUTHOR


    5 years ago from USA

    Thanks so much younghopes.

  • ologsinquito profile imageAUTHOR


    5 years ago from USA

    God bless you too.

  • ologsinquito profile imageAUTHOR


    5 years ago from USA

    Hi cmoneyspinner, you know I totally respect your opinion on so much. Catholics do pray directly to God, and I know it's not necessary to ask the saints for their intercession. But sometimes we do ask our friends in Heaven for a little help, just like we ask our friends here to pray for us.

  • ologsinquito profile imageAUTHOR


    5 years ago from USA

    I'm so happy when people from another faith read my Catholic articles and even say they liked them. Thanks so much.

  • ologsinquito profile imageAUTHOR


    5 years ago from USA

    It is astounding and frightening. We are in the middle of an epidemic.


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