St. RochSaint Roch is one, among many other saints, whose actual history is crowded with legend and therefore it is almost impossible to deduce whether legend is historically accurate or completely off base. However, Saint Roch was historically a French noble. Legend claims that he was marked from birth by a red cross on his chest which grew as he did. Furthermore, as an infant he fasted when his mother fasted which usually meant fasting at least once a week and on those days only feeding once.

Clearly Saint Roch began his holy life at a very young age. Unfortunately both his parents died by the time he was twenty and therefore he sold all of his possessions and traveled to Rome where he cared for plague victims in Italy. He was known for miraculous cures either by touch or the Sign of the Cross. Eventually he contracted the plague himself and therefore ran off to the woods to die.

Saint Roch was surprised by Count Gothard’s hunting dog which brought him food and licked his wounds which began to heal. Furthermore, a spring arose out of the ground where he lay which gave him a constant supply of clean water, certainly a rarity in Rome at the time. After returning to health, he ventured back to his home in Montpellier where was accussed of being a spy and was imprisoned by his uncle who failed to recognize him. He then lived in prison for 5 years with an angel caring for him until he died in 1327.

Cult of St. Roch

After his death, miracles taking place by his intercession became increasingly more popular which resulted in a cult becoming developed around him. The Church of San Rocco was built in Venice, Italy quickly after his death and today holds many of his relics. Intercession to Saint Roch increased ten-fold after the Fathers of the Council of Constance of 1414 ordered public prayers and processions for the saint which immediately ended a plague in Constance. Saint Roch’s feast day is August 16th and typically involves a procession of a Saint Roch statue.

Fun St. Roch facts

  • St. Roch is the patron against plague, cholera, and skin rashes and typically devotion includes prayer cards and St. Roch Medals.

  • Furthermore, he is the Patron of Dogs, and 15 cities/towns in Italy.

  • St. Roch is typically presented with a dog feeding him and a nasty knee wound.

  • St. Roch never revealed that he had noble blood while he was in prison because he didn’t want to draw attention to himself. After his death, people discovered who he was by the birth mark cross on his chest.

  • A powerful archconfraternity of Saint Roch still exists today and flourishes.

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Comments

  1. Debra says

    I need a miracle prayer for my sweet dog Minnie. She is so weak from a respiratory illness. The vet won’t find out the results for a week. It can either be a sometimes successful treatable fungal infection Valley Fever or my worse fear…cancer. My poor baby has lost her appetite, lost weight and the strength needed to fight. The vet can’t give me any meds to aid her breathing til we find out the results. Since then I have tried everything to help her eat and breath. I’m just afraid she’ll lose her battle before we find out the results. I’m praying for the intercession of St Roque to help her fight.

  2. Myra says

    Thank you all for all your postings. Two 1/2 years ago I became the adoptive mother of my baby girl cairn-shin~tau. (She’ll be 3 in March, but she’s still my babygirl).
    Recently retired, God sent me a “life-line” in her in that she’s been an absolute joy. But now, her lymph nodes are swollen and she and I need prayer intercession from all who pray, prayer warriors, and Saint Roch. I believe in intercession and in Gods healing hands for both humans and animals.

  3. says

    I need help caring for my 78 beloved dogs living in my no kill shelter. They need loving homes. I need support spiritually, physically and financially to be able to welcome whatever little canine soul that comes to my doorstep in need of love, food and shelter from the cold. I’ve had over 2000 babies come to me in the last 30 years seeking shelter. Please pray for all homeless animals and those who have uncaring homes that they may all find love.

  4. Lisa owner of Heart Rock Studios says

    Good morning, my name is Lisa and I am a lover of dogs. I have a 7 year old Cavalier King Charles Spaniel named Graycen… registered Amazing Graycen! He turned 7 this past summer and I have been wanting another dog for a companion for both of us. On September 24th 2015, Rocko(ckc reg Rocko Star) a 4 month old Aussiedoodle arrived from a ranch in Texas. I grew up in Malden and the statue of St Rocco went by my house every August. Actually, that was not the reason why I named him Rocko. I am a writer. I’m publishing a book of poetry called “The Heart Rocks”. And yes, I know our Lord God,our Savior, is our Rock! Well, exactly two weeks before Christmas Eve I personally experienced a true miracle! That night I was at my boyfriends house. He lives on a very busy street but setback high on a hill. We are always very careful with our dogs and they have no interest in the street. I went on an errand by myself that night to the market for ice cream and coffee. Before I left, I brought Rocko out to do his business so my boyfriend wouldn’t have to worry about that. Also, I did not want him to be outside while I was gone, because he’s very attached to me. Rocko is a herding dog. To him I’m his shepard. As I rolled out of the driveway, I had no idea what was about to happen. Right after I left, my bf let his dog out and Rocko barreled through the door and escaped! When I returned shortly after, my bf was in his van shouting to me to get in, Rocko had been hit by a car and runaway! It was a rainy, mild winter night, and my baby,my herder, followed his shepherd without me knowing it. My boyfriend was very heroic and ran out into the traffic of 40 to 50 mile an hour cars to try to save and catch Rocko. Rocko was hit by a car in his hind. Jim, dodged a car by inches. After Rocko was hit,he then ran in the opposite direction north for about half a mile going 30 miles an hour. I got back shortly after it happened and we searched until almost midnight. I could not even wrap my brain and my heart around the emotions of losing such a beautiful creature to such a senseless act that could have been avoided. All our efforts were in vain. I lay down at night and could not cry for myself but was so sad for my new,best friend suffering in the cold. I prayed to Saint Anthony to find him and I also prayed for the first time to Saint Rocco who I found out when I was naming him was the protector of the sick and suffering. I did not know at that time that he was the protector of dogs. I just found this out a few weeks ago. That night I didn’t sleep much, but I knew I needed to rest before the sun came up so I could continue my search to look for his body. I also knew it was very unlikely because I live in the country and was surrounded by all woods. Rocko is the color of fall leaves, so it’d be very difficult to see him, not to mention he could have been anywhere in the hundreds of acres we needed to cover. I’m a very hopeful, optimistic person, but the fact that I couldn’t find him in over 4 hours led me to believe he was gone. I do have my own belief that many others have may have. I believe in dogs having souls. They are not trees, they are amazing beings God made! So,that night as I prayed, I prayed out loud to my dog Rocko, telling him “I’m sorry… I’m so sorry”. I was praying to the Rocko that was most likely dead , but I was also praying to the Rocko that could be alive waiting for me to nurse him back if I found him . I was hoping he didn’t suffer. To never see his beautiful, adorable face again was unbearable. Mostly,I was sad for him,for what he must have endured that night. He even stood the chance to be eaten by coyotes that are often around. As soon as the sun came up, I was dressed and ready for my search again. I had to first attend to my other dog Graycen and let him out. I open the slider, in a soft voice and said “be careful out there Gracyen”. As I turned left, peeking up at the top of the stairs,approaching the deck, looking sheepish was Rocko!!! The first words that came out of my mouth were oh my God! He came right over to me and we went inside. He was soaking wet and I assumed he had an injury. I got a towel to warm him up and dry him off. He came right on my lap and I was rubbing him and feeling all around his hip and hind area. I could tell he had no tenderness because he did not flinch. I fed him right away and he started to play with the other dogs after. My boyfriend was getting out of the shower, so I went up to tell him the amazing news. The look on Jim face was of astonishment! That night and that morning changed our lives forever!!! I always was a believer of miracles and I do see them most every day in small ways, but on December 14th and 15th, a personal,huge miracle happened in my life. My prayers were answered and so were my puppy’s. I now refer to Saint Rocco and Saint Anthony as the Wonder Twins :-) It was not Rocko’s time to leave me. If he died it would not have been my saddest Christmas,because both my parents were buried a week before Christmas. My mom in 1985 when I was 22 and my dad in 1999. My dogs are my family. To have lost Rocko would have been a loss and pain I have not experienced in over 16years. We know how dogs become family. To care and love them,getting it back in return bonds us immensely. That night I was experiencing sadness and loss….. The morning after, total elation and shock! God knew I needed my protector Rocko for many years to come. I found this site because I am ordering a statue of St Rocco for my home and I would like to get medals for myself and my twin sons. I have always been a believer in prayer. This answer of my prays was incredible. It was my family’s Christmas gift from God. God bless us and God bless all our “best friends”. My prayers are with any of you that have a dog you’ve lost or that is ill. Soon, I will post a beautiful poem I wrote 4 years ago called “Amazing Graycen”. It’s about not only the love we have for our dogs, but how God sent us dogs as a companion that teaches us great things about humanity. Peace, Lisa ox4eva And of course a PS: to cats being an amazing,domestic companion as well:) My first cat Gabrielle was a female named after the angel Gabriel. My nephew found her in a Catholic school parking lot after CCD can brought it home to me for my birthday. While my mother was dying Gabrielle came to our home 2 months before and sat beneath my mother’s feet everyday. In the midst of all the sadness she was a reprieve for all of us especially my mother.The day after my mom’s funeral, I went on her bed while alone in the house and I cried. Gabrielle came up on the bed and placed her paw on my shoulder and sat beside me while I cried. Amazing feeling,creatures like this are a gift from God.

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