ST. ROCH, C.
WE find this eminent servant of God honored,
especially in France and Italy, amongst the most illustrious saints
in the fourteenth century, soon after his death: nevertheless, says
F. Berthier, we have no authentic history of his life. All that we
can affirm concerning him is, that he was born of a noble family at
Montpelier, and making a pilgrimage of devotion to Rome, he devoted
himself in Italy to serve the sick during a raging pestilence.
Maldura says this happened at Placentia. Falling himself sick, and
unable to assist others, and shunned and abandoned by the whole
world, he made a shift to crawl rather than walk into a neighboring
forest, where a dog used to lick his sores. He bore incredible pains
with patience and holy joy, and God was pleased to restore him to his
health. He returned into France, and in the practice of austere
penance, and the most fervent piety and charity, he wore out his last
years at Montpellier, where he died, as it is commonly said, in 1327.
Some postpone his death to the decline of that century, and think he
went into Italy only in 1348, when historians mention that a
pestilence made dreadful havoc in that country. Many cities have been
speedily delivered from the plague by imploring his intercession, in
particular that of Constance during the general council held there in
1414. His body was translated from Montpellier to Venice in 1485,
where it is kept with great honor in a beautiful church; but certain
portions of his relics are shown at Rome, Arles, and many other
places. See Pinius the Bollandist, t. 3. Augusti, p. 380. F.
Berthier, the last continuator of F. Longueval’s Hist. de
l’Eglise de France, t. 13,1. 37, ad an. 1327, and the life of
St. Roch by Maldura, translated into French by D’Andilly. Also
Pagi the Younger Bened. XIV. &c.