Saint Roch

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Statue of Saint Roch
Tomb of St. Roch in Venice.

Saint Roch or Rocco (c. 1295c. 16 August 1327) was a Christian saint. His death is commemorated on 16 August. He is a patron saint against the plague. He is also a patron Saint of dogs and falsely accused people.

Life[change | change source]

According to his legends, Roch was born in 1295 in Montpellier, France.[1] He was born with a red cross on his chest.[1] His family was prosperous.[2]

As a young man he was very religious. He decided to live the life of a hermit.[3] He gave away all he owned to the poor. At age 20 he set out on a religious pilgrimage to Rome. At this same time the plague struck Italy.[1] While in Italy he stopped in villages to take care of the sick. Apparently everyone he tended to got well.[1] He finished his pilgrimage to Rome. On his return trip he was struck by the plague himself.[3] He decided to take refuge in the forest alone and wait for his death.[3] According to his legend he was visited by an angel and was healed. A dog was said to have brought him bread every day.[3] He then set out for Montpellier.[3] His legends do not agree on what happened next. In one version he returned to Montpellier and died there.[3] Another version say he returned to France but was arrested as a spy.[2] He remained in prison for the rest of his life.[2]

There is little historical evidence for the existence of Saint Roch.[4] He remains one of the most popular saints in the south of France.[4] His feast day is on August 16th.

References[change | change source]

  1. 1.0 1.1 1.2 1.3 Chris Ackerley; S. E. Gontarski, The Grove Companion to Samuel Beckett (New York: Grove Press, 2004), p. 495
  2. 2.0 2.1 2.2 Louise Chipley Slavicek, The Black Death (New York: Chelsea House, 2008), p. 101
  3. 3.0 3.1 3.2 3.3 3.4 3.5 Rosa Giorgi, Saints in Art (Los Angeles: J. Paul Getty Museum, 2003), p. 319
  4. 4.0 4.1 Mathew Kuefler, The Making and Unmaking of a Saint (Philadelphia: University of Pennsylvania Press, 2014), p. 125

Other websites[change | change source]