• August 16th - St. Roche, Wonderworker

    From rich@1:15/0 to All on Tue Aug 15 10:03:18 2017
    From: rich <richarra@gmail.com>

    August 16th - St. Roche, Wonderworker
    (1350?-1378?)

    It is customary for those who paint or sculpt images of saints to
    identify them by certain symbols. One of the more unusual symbolic representations is that of a bearded man in medieval pilgrim garb,
    pointing to a sore on his thigh. Often he is depicted with a pilgrim
    staff in hand, and a friendly dog at his side.

    This is St. Roche, a native of Montpellier, France. =E2=80=9CRoche=E2=80=9D=
    or =E2=80=9CRoch=E2=80=9D
    is the French form of the name, but he is usually called by the form
    in which his Latin name, Rochus, is translated in the country where he
    is venerated. Thus, in Italy he is San Rocco; in Spain he is San
    Roque; in England, St. Rock; and in Scotland, St. Rollock.

    Roche was a historical person, but his fond biographers have
    unfortunately mixed fact and folklore in their accounts. What I give
    you is a =E2=80=9Csort of=E2=80=9D summary of his story.

    The saint was the son of a wealthy Frenchman (who was perhaps the
    governor of Montpellier) and a mother from northern Italy. He lost
    both parents when he was in his mid-teens, but he was raised a devout
    lad. Aged 17 when Pope Urban V visited his home city, he seems to have
    been inspired by the papal visit to make a pilgrimage to Rome. He
    therefore donned the traditional pilgrim cloak and hat and set out for
    Italy.

    During the course of his journey it became clear that this young man
    was already dedicated to serving the poor and ailing. Furthermore, God
    showed his approval by giving him the gift of healing. Thus, when he
    reached Acquapendente, somewhat north of Rome, and discovered that the townsfolk were suffering from an epidemic of the dread bubonic plague,
    Roche not only nursed the sick but cured them=E2=80=93some of them, at leas=
    t.
    The same was true when he got to Rome. Cardinal Anglic, the pope's
    brother, was one of those he healed.

    The young pilgrim remained in Rome until 1371. Then he began to move
    eastward and northward to Rimini, Cesena, Mantua, Novara, and Parma.
    At Cesena in particular he wrought a number of cures of plague and
    other ailments.

    Always ready to risk his life in tending the plague-stricken, St.
    Roche himself fell victim to plague while at Piacenza (whence the
    customary wound in his portraits). Unwilling to become a burden to
    others, he withdrew into a forest to spend what were presumably his
    last days. But by miracle, it is said, a dog befriended him and
    brought him food. (This is the dog in Rock's pictures.) Coming to k=
    now
    the sick pilgrim through his dog, the dog's master took care of him
    thereafter until he fully recovered. Before moving on, the saint
    returned to Piacenza, and as if in reward, healed many of its people,
    and even its livestock, by a simple sign of the cross.

    St. Roche's biographers differ as to whether he ever reached France=
    ..
    The more striking account says that when he reached the Italian town
    of Angera on the banks of Lake Maggiore, he was suspected of being a
    spy, arrested, and imprisoned until his death five years later. He was identified at death by means of the cross-shaped birthmark on his
    chest.

    The people of Montpellier, learning of St. Roch's demise, hailed th=
    eir
    fellow Frenchman as a wonderworker. In Italy that reputation was firm.
    When, at the ecumenical council of Constance (1414), it was found that
    the host city was stricken with the pestilence, the council Fathers
    ordered public intercession to our pilgrim saint. The epidemic ceased.
    At Ferrara in 1439, the cessation of the Black Death was also
    attributed to St. Roch's prayer.

    In 1485, the relics of this miracle-worker were enshrined in the
    church of San Rocco, Venice, where they still remain.

    Today, the bubonic plague and related diseases that killed so many in Renaissance times are pretty much under control. But St. Roche's
    intercession is still available against other epidemics. Today's AI=
    DS
    promises to become a modern counterpart of that Black Death that in
    its day laid low millions around the world.
    =E2=80=93Father Robert


    Saint Quote:
    You victorious martyrs who endured torments gladly for the sake of the
    God and Savior, you who have boldness of speech toward the Lord
    himself, you saints, intercede for us who are timid and sinful men,
    full of sloth, that the grace of Christ may come upon us, and
    enlighten the hearts of all of us that so we may love him.
    -- Saint Ephrem of Syria

    Bible Verse
    "You see now that it is by deeds, and not only by believing, that
    someone is justified. There is another example of the same kind: Rahab
    the prostitute, was she not justified by her deeds because she
    welcomed the messengers and showed them a different way to leave?"
    [James 2:24-25]


    <><><><>
    Daily Prayer to the Sacred Heart

    Sacred Heart of Jesus, today I wish
    to live in You, in Your Grace, in which
    I desire at all costs to persevere. Keep
    me from sin and strengthen my will by
    helping me to keep watch over my
    senses, my imagination, and my heart.
    Help me to correct my faults which are
    the source of sin. I beg You to do this,
    O Jesus, through Mary,
    Your Immaculate Mother.
    --- NewsGate v1.0 gamma 2
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