Happy Feast Day
Feast day: August 16
Patronage: dogs, invalids, skin rashes, invoked against the plague and pestilence
Saint Roch was a French noble, orphaned at 20. Legend claims that he had a red cross birthmark on his chest. He gave all his possessions away and made a pilgrimage to Rome, where he cared for plague victims. When he contracted the disease himself, he retired to a woods to die. It is said that a dog befriended him, brought him bread and licked his wounds. A spring arose where he laid. He recovered and traveled back to France where he was imprisoned as a spy and died. It was then that he was identified as Roch because of the red cross on his chest. An archconfraternity of St. Roch still is active today.
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