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St. Rocco (St. Roch)

Saint Rocco was born of noble parentage about 1340 A.D. in Montpellier, France. At an early age his parents died, leaving him an orphan under the care of his uncle, the Duke of Montpellier. Soon after, San Rocco distributed his wealth among the poor and took a vow of poverty.

During his travels, he contracted the plague, which was evident in an open sore on his leg. Rocco was banished from the city and took refuge in a cave. Here he slept on leaves and drank water from a small stream. Miraculously a dog that refused to eat, faithfully brought him bread as a means of sustenance. The dog used to leave a nearby castle and the Lord of this castle having a curious nature followed this dog into the woods and discovered Rocco. The nobleman had pity on Rocco and brought him to his castle where Rocco was cured.

The statue of Saint Rocco is most unusual because it depicts him with his left hand pointing to an open sore on his left leg. His body is enclosed in a glass tomb in the church of San Rocco in Venice, Italy.

St. Rocco died on August 16, 1378, and is venerated in the Roman Catholic Church as the protector against the plague and all contagious diseases. His Feast Day is August 16th.

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