Saint Rocco

Saint Rocco, also known as Saint Roch, is a popular Catholic saint venerated for his role as a protector against plagues, epidemics, and contagious diseases. He is often invoked by those seeking healing and relief from illness. The details of his life and times are rooted in historical and legendary accounts.

Life of Saint Rocco:

Birth and Early Life: Saint Rocco was born around 1295 in Montpellier, France, to a noble family. He is believed to have been orphaned at an early age. As he grew, Rocco demonstrated exceptional piety and devotion to God.

Pilgrimage: Following the death of his parents, Rocco distributed his inheritance among the poor and embarked on a pilgrimage to Rome. During his travels, he is said to have performed miraculous healings, particularly of those afflicted by the plague.

Encounter with the Plague: Rocco’s most well-known story revolves around his encounter with the plague. While in Italy, he himself fell victim to the disease. He sought refuge in a forest, where a dog miraculously brought him food and licked his wounds, aiding in his recovery.

Miraculous Healing: After his recovery, Rocco continued to travel and help those suffering from the plague. His miraculous healing abilities earned him a reputation as a saintly figure. He is often depicted revealing a sore on his thigh, indicating the plague’s affliction and his subsequent healing.

Death: Saint Rocco eventually returned to Montpellier, where he was unfortunately mistaken for a spy and arrested. He died in prison around 1327, and according to some accounts, he was able to foretell the exact date of his death. After his death, miracles were reported at his tomb, and he became widely venerated as a healer and intercessor.

Legacy and Veneration:

Saint Rocco’s popularity as a healer and protector against plagues and contagious diseases led to his widespread veneration across Europe. He is often depicted wearing pilgrim’s attire, showing his journey and dedication to God. Churches, chapels, and hospitals were dedicated to him, and his feast day, August 16th, is celebrated with various ceremonies and processions.

In times of epidemics, people would pray to Saint Rocco for protection and healing. He became a symbol of hope and a source of comfort for those facing the devastating effects of disease. His image and relics can be found in numerous places of worship and pilgrimage sites.

Overall, the life and times of Saint Rocco highlight his selflessness, compassion, and devotion to helping those in need, particularly during times of illness and suffering. His legacy continues to inspire and provide solace to people around the world.


LINK to Saint Rocco Society of Potenza in New York