Today’s Saint

Daily Journey with the Saints

May 1 | Repent

Saint Peregrine Laziosi

A.D. 1260–1345

“Repent, and believe in the gospel.” These are the first words we hear from Jesus in Mark’s Gospel. (Mark 1:15)

Repent is a powerful word. But what does it mean for you and me, here and now, more than two thousand years later? It means the same as it did to the people walking around the dusty pathways in their sandals, trying to inch closer to Jesus as he passed through their town or village. Repent means “to turn back to God.” 

Peregrine Laziosi was a man in need of repentance.

Peregrine was born in the Italian city of Forlì during a time of religious upheaval. Many residents of Forlì, including Peregrine’s family, were vehemently against the Pope having any political power over their city. In 1283, Philip Benizi, a monk of the Servite Order, was sent to calm the tensions in Forlì. As he preached, Peregrine heckled him and then physically assaulted Benizi, forcing him out of the city.

After the incident, however, Peregrine became filled with remorse that grew with each day. Eventually, he could no longer avoid the nagging feeling that he needed to repent and turn back to God. The first step was apologizing to Philip Benizi. What Peregrine could not have expected was Benizi’s warm welcome when he came knocking. Benizi showed him no anger, only kindness. That kindness changed the trajectory of Peregrine’s life.

Peregrine knew his repentance needed to go beyond any particular action—he needed to turn to God with his whole self. He needed to give his whole life to God. And that is what he did. A few years after his encounter with Benizi, he entered the Servite Order himself. Saint Peregrine Laziosi left a legacy of kindness, mercy, and wisdom that earned the nickname of the "Angel of Good Counsel." And it all started with repentance.

Do you need to turn back to God today? Do you need to repent?

If we are honest with ourselves, if we can stomach a moment of truth, if we are willing to give truth a place in our lives above all our excuses and justifications, I think we each discover for ourselves that we need to turn back to God. We often turn away from God, sometimes in small ways, just for a moment, and at other times in much larger ways.

Very few people turn their backs to God completely. Most of us just turn our backs on him in one or two areas of our lives.

In what area of your life have you turned your back on God?


Every day, I will turn back to God.

This reflection is brought to you from book title.

Patron Saint of: Persons Suffering from Cancer, AIDS, and Other Life-Threatening Illnesses

Symbols: One leg covered in a cancerous sore

Feast Day: May 1

Feast Day Shared By: The Prophet Jeremiah

Canonized: December 27, 1726

Canonized By: Pope Benedict XIII

Image of mountain and man reflecting in the water below.

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