St Roch – Patron Saint of Dogs

Did you know that dogs had a Patron Saint?

I read somewhere that it is Saint Roch.

Saint Roch

from Wikipedia

Saint Roch was born in 1285 into French nobility, his father being the governor of Montpellier. In the traditional biography, his birth is seen as a miracle as his barren mother’s prayer was answered by Virgin Mary. It is said that his chest was marked with a red cross at birth.

When he was 20, his parents perished and instead of becoming the governor as his father before him, he gave away all his possessions and went out into the world to minister. It was during the time of the plague in Italy and he eventually fell ill himself, while tending to the sick. He retreated to the forest, where a dog found him and each day returned with bread. His licks helped to heal Saint Roch.

Upon returning home, he was imprisoned on the suspicion of being a spy. He languished for five years before he died, when his true identity was discovered. Saint Roch is also known as the patron saint of the sick and it is believed that he continued to perform miracles of healing, even after his death.

Saint Roch is especially venerated in Southern Italy and Sicily but is known worldwide, throughout various cultures.

In Bolivia, Saint Roch’s day was once considered the “birthday of all the dogs” and dogs used to wear colourful ribbons. Too bad it’s not celebrated as it was before.

They are our friends … partners … protectors … ever-loyal … all-forgiving… to their hearts’ last beat…the least we owe them is to live a life that is worthy of their devotion

Saint Roch’s feast day is August 16.


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