St. Maximilian Kolbe
Twentieth Sunday Ordinary Time

St. Roch

RochYes, who would have thought it, there is a patron saint of dogs and it's not St. Francis. St. Roch, a former nobleman who abandoned his riches for a life of poverty and pilgrimage on the road, began to pray for those whom he met afflicted with the plague. Many were cured and his fame spread. So unfortunately did the disease which he himself contracted, isolating himself in a forest to await his inevitable death. Instead a dog began visiting and bringing him food stolen from his master's table to sustain St. Roch. When the dog began licking St. Roch's sores, they were healed.

He is usually shown in the garb of a pilgrim (the shells, the staff and the drinking water gourd), displaying the pitiful sores of the plague in his groin and on his thigh with the dog as his side. The dog either lies at his feet, licks his wounds or provides bread. The saint was invoked as one of the Fourteen Holy Helpers in time of plague and death.

 

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