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Sunday, 16 August 2015

16th August

St Roch
1348 – 1380?

St Roch Visited by an Angel in Prison, Tintoretto, San Rocco, Venice


St Roch, patron saint of pestlince and plague, dogs, people who have been falsely accused, bachelors, surgeons and tile makers. Also called Rock in English.

Born in Montpellier, son of the governor, he went on pilgrimage to Rome and devoted himself to caring for the victims of a plague. He became a victim himself and was reportedly kept alive in woods by food brought to him by a dog. He recovered and, on his return to Montpellier, he was imprisoned for five years as a spy in pilgrim's disguise when his uncle, who was governor, ordered him imprisoned. His uncle failed to recognise him and Roch failed to identify himself. Whilst imprisoned, Roch was cared for by an angels after his death he was identified as the former governor's son by a birthmark in the form of a cross on his chest.