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Rev. Alban Butler (1711–73). Volume VIII: August. The Lives of the Saints. 1866.

August 16

St. Roch, Confessor

WE find this eminent servant of God honoured, 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 Montpellier, 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 neighbouring 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 honour 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, ad an. 1327, and the life of St. Roch by Maldura, translated into French by D’Andilly. Also Pagi the Younger. Bened. XIV. &c.  1