Whether you are currently facing a cancer diagnosis for yourself or for a loved one, you can turn to Christ for assistance.
You can ask for prayers from your faith community on earth as well as invoke the intercession of our brothers and sisters in heaven.
These saints in particular intimately know the challenges and fears you face and want to help bring you healing and comfort.
Saint Peregrine became a Servite after having a radical conversion from an enemy of the Pope. He was known for his piety and his work with the poor, as well as his miraculous healing.
The night before a cancerous growth on his foot was scheduled to be amputated, he spent hours in prayer. As he dozed, he had a vision of Christ coming and touching his foot, and woke to find his foot completely healed.
In turn, Peregrine healed many people through his prayers which is why the Church considers Saint Peregrine the patron saint of cancer patients.
Saint Agatha was an early Christian virgin and martyr. She was killed after refusing to marry a high diplomat in order to protect her vow of virginity. The man turned her into the emperor for being a Christian–an offense punishable by death.
Saint Agatha is the patron saint of those suffering with breast cancer because of the way she was tortured and martyred. She can help you face your sufferings with courage and hope in the Lord as she did.
Saint Therese of Lisieux speaks about her parents, St. Louis and Zelie Martin and the profound effect they had on her life and sanctity. For their witness of a holy marriage and commitment to family life, Louis and Zelie became the first married couple to be canonized together.
This holy couple also has an intimate connection to those suffering with breast cancer; St. Zelie Martin lived with breast cancer twelve years before her death. Look to them for friendship, inspiration, and prayers.
Like her parents, you can also turn to Saint Therese’s intercession for those facing a lung cancer diagnosis.
Despite living much of her short life as a cloistered nun, St. Therese, French Carmelite known for her “little way” of love was declared a Doctor of the Church and was called by Pope Pius X the “greatest saint of modern times.”
She died at the age of 24 from tuberculosis and is often considered a patron for patients with lung ailments.
St. Gemma Galgani was an Italian mystic who united herself to Christ’s passion in very real ways; she offered many extreme sacrifices and penances, and weekly experienced the stigmata on her hands, feet, and heart.
Saint Gemma Galgani suffered from a brain tumor in her early life and can offer prayers for those who face similar diagnoses.
Saint Timothy traveled with St. Paul and preached the Gospel. He became the first bishop of Ephesus and died a martyr for the faith.
It is also believed that St. Timothy was prone to illness as St. Paul writes to him in his First letter: “Do not still drink water, but use a little wine for thy stomach’s sake and thy frequent infirmities” (5:23).
For this reason, the Church calls upon Timothy as the patron saint of those suffering from stomach and intestinal disorders, like stomach or colon cancer.
Not much is known for certain about the life of Saint Erasmus though we do know that the bishop of Formia, Italy in the second century. It is also believed that he died as a martyr by disembowelment.
Saint Erasmus was invoked as an intercessor during the bubonic plague and is now considered a patron of those who suffer from abdominal pain, particularly pain of the intestines or liver. You can also invoke his powerful prayers if you or a loved one are facing a liver or intestinal cancer diagnosis.
You might already be familiar with Saint Blaise because of the special blessing of the throats offered every year for his feast day.
He served as a Bishop in what is now Turkey and was also a physician, offering healing to both people’s bodies and souls. He performed many miracles of healing. In one particular story, Blaise healed a young boy choking to death on a fish bone.
The Church now seeks the prayers of Saint Blaise for those suffering from Throat illnesses.
Saint Gianna Beretta Molla is a modern saint who was a wife, mother, and physician. Though she is perhaps most known for her courageous and pro-life decision during her fourth pregnancy.
During this pregnancy, Saint Gianna developed a fibroma on her uterus; she was offered an abortion to save her life but refused, choosing the life of her unborn daughter.
Saint Gianna is the patron of mothers, physicians and unborn children, though she might unofficially be considered a patron saint of uterine cancer patients because of the difficult diagnosis she received.
Are you or a loved one facing a difficult health diagnosis? Let us know in the comments so we can pray with you for strength and healing.