Today I was running an errand in the Vatican, and I saw, down the street from where I was, that the little Church of St. Peregrine was open. Apparently it is open every morning, but I don’t recall ever having seen it open in the past.
Immediately I thought, “St. Peregrine – patron saint of cancer patients”, so I went inside to make a visit and pray for all those who have cancer or have survived it.
This is the chapel used by the Vatican Corps of Gendarmes (the Vatican police force). The current church dates to the 16th century or so, but it was built on the foundations of a church that had been here since at least the 9th century, if not earlier.
A little while after leaving the church, I looked it up online and discovered that it is dedicated to a different St. Peregrine – i.e., not to the patron saint of cancer patients!
St. Peregrine Laziosi is the patron of cancer patients. Again, he is not the St. Peregrine to whom the Vatican chapel is dedicated!
St. Peregrine of Auxerre was a bishop martyred in France in the early 4th century, and is the patron saint against snake bites. He is the saint of this Vatican chapel!
Oh well – hopefully one of the saints Peregrine heard my little prayer today for those with cancer or who had survived it, in spite of my confusion!