A rebellious and violent young man, Peregrine was once a member of a street gang in the later part of the thirteenth century in Forti, Italy. When a Servite priest came to Forti to preach peace and reconciliation. Peregrine heckled the priest and physically attacked him. The priest, Father Philip, instead of striking back, forgave his attacker.
Peregrine was so deeply moved by this act of forgiveness, that he eventually became a Catholic and entered the Servite order himself. Like St. Paul he was converted and his life truly changed. He spent the next fifty years ministering to the poor, the sick and the homeless.
He developed cancer of the leg and the evening before the operation to amputate his leg Peregrine prayed before an image of the crucified Christ. When he awoke the next morning, he found that his leg had been healed and the cancer was gone! A miraculous event. He lived twenty more years and died in 1345 at the age of eighty five. He was declared a Saint in 1725. Peregrine is the patron of those who suffer from cancer and HIV/AIDS.
In the early 1960’s the Shrine to St. Peregrine was built at the entrance of the Shrine where the present Hall of Saints in located. In 1986 the statue was moved to the lower grounds. After a fire at this area in 1994, the statue was placed in a new gazebo structure. This provides a place for quiet reflection and prayer.