Story of Saint Rocco

Saint Rocco a pilgrim of God

Rocco de la Croix was born in France in 1295 to an aristocratic family that ruled the city of Montpellier. Parents Libera and Giovanni consecrated little Rocco to God, who from birth had placed a red coloured cross on the child’s chest as a seal of holiness. His father, before his death, obtained the promise from his son that he would make every effort to help the needy and the sick. Rocco, still a teenager, proposed to live out the Gospel message and distributes all of his inherited assets to the poor and make a pilgrimage to Rome in the name of Christ..

Before he reached the gates of the holy city, he became involved in the city of Acquapendente where a plague was taking its toll on the lives of many. Far from escaping from the tragic circumstances the young Rocco becomes totally immersed, heart and mind, giving himself to the service of others. Tireless walker, Rocco moves on to many cities. Everywhere he hears news of the infection, adding to the miseries of mankind, revealing also his exceptional healing powers against the terrible disease which he eventually succumbed to himself. Being banished from the city because of his illness he took refuge in a cave where a dog brought him bread from the castle where it lived. The master of the castle followed his dog one day and finding the ailing Rocco took him home where he recovered miraculously. Rocco then takes the path back to France, which he never reach, dying prematurely in a dark prison near Voghera in Italy falsely accused of espionage on the eve of 16 August 1327.

S. Rocco is patron or protector of 889 countries, In Italy there are 280 parishes and 147 confraternities named after him. He is patron of surgeons, pharmacists, pilgrims, travelers and dog lovers.

The young Rocco, a champion of charity for all, today announces the Gospel free of all human conditions, proclaims the primacy of the spirit, and offers friendly service of charity especially towards those who are weak, poor, sick and marginalized.

© don Giorgio Miles 2018