Saint Roch

detail of the painting 'Saint Roch and the Angel'; 19th century by Charles Amédée Philippe van Loo; Museum of Art and Archaeology, Senlis, France; swiped from Wikimedia Commons; click for source imageAlso known as

  • Roc
  • Rocco
  • Roche
  • Rochus
  • Rock
  • Rocke
  • Rollock
  • Rollox
  • Roque
  • Seemirookie

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French noble who early developed a sympathy for the poor and sick; reported to have been born with the image of a red cross on his breast. Orphaned at age 20, he gave his fortune to the poor, and became a mendicant pilgrim; may have been a Franciscan tertiary. While on pilgrimage Roch encountered an area afflicted with plague. He stayed to minister to the sick, and affected several miraculous cures, usually by making the sign of the cross over them, but contracted the plague himself. He walked into a forest to die, but was befriended by a dog. The dog fed him with food stolen from his master’s table, and Roch eventually recovered.

When Roch returned to Montpellier, France, he was arrested for being a spy. He languished in jail for five years, never mentioning his noble connections, cared for by an angel until his death.

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MLA Citation

  • “Saint Roch“. CatholicSaints.Info. 11 March 2015. Web. 27 March 2015. <>