St Rocco was a fourteenth century Catholic saint and confessor who gave up his nobility and worldly title to help people suffering from the plague in Italy.
St Rocco and the Plague
St Rocco was a fourteenth century Catholic saint and confessor who is invoked against the plague.
St Roch or Rocco or Rock was born in Montpellier in France to the governor there but was orphaned at age twenty.
When his parents died, he gave away all his goods, refused the title of governor, and made a pilgrimage to Rome as a mendicant (beggar).
Italy was beset by plague at this time, and he heroically cared for the sick in the hospitals. Many people were cured miraculously through his intercession as he made the Sign of the Cross over them.
He eventually became ill and returned to his home in Montpellier, but his uncle arrested him as a spy and imprisoned him. He did not reveal who he was, and like Christ remained silent before his accusers, choosing to die in prison rather than accept worldly recognition and comfort.
According to the Golden Legend, an angel brought a table with gold letters that said if anyone called upon St Rocco humbly, they would not be harmed by the plague.
He is a patron saint of epidemics, plagues, skin diseases, dogs, invalids, falsely accused people, bachelors, Sarmato, Altare e Girifalco, Italy, cholera, knee problems, Istanbul (Constantinople), surgeons, pilgrims, apothecaries, and the Roman Catholic Diocese of Kalookan.