Story of St. Roch

Saint Roch is the patron saint of the sick and invalids. He was born in 1295 to a rich family in Montpellier, France. Tradition says Saint Roch was born with a birthmark of a red cross on his chest. He joined the Franciscan Order and distributed his fortune among the poor. While living in Italy, he caught the plague while ministering to the sick and was expelled from the town. Ill and starving, he was saved when a hunting dog found him and brought him bread every day. 

He recovered and decided to devote himself to caring for the sick. After his recovery, Saint Roch returned to Montpellier, France. His uncle, the governor, did not recognize him and cast him into prison as a spy. After five years in the prison, he died, stretched out on the ground and after receiving the Last Sacraments.

He was recognized by the red cross on his chest, and his true identity was then known. Saint Roch was reputed to have performed many miracles of healing throughout his life. Saint Roch is usually portrayed holding a clapper to warn people of his approach and with a sore on his leg. He is always pictured with a dog.

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