Monday, August 16

Lessons from Saints - Roch

Today is the feast of saint Roch.

Born the son of the governor of Montpellier, Roch grew up wanting for nothing. When his parents died suddenly, Roch was but 20. He distributed his fortune among the poor and undertook a pilgrimage to Rome, giving the governorship to his uncle.

On his way, he encountered town after town beset by plague. Roch ministered to them and, by making the sign of the Cross, they were healed. Finally, he himself was stricken by plague and was cast out into the forest by the townsfolk. A dog came to him daily, bringing food and licking his open sores until Roche was cured.

Later, Roch returned to his hometown of Montpellier, where he was imprisoned for spying. For five years, an angel visited him in prison, caring for the man until his death.

May we, like Roch, give freely of ourselves. May we be an instrument of the Divine to heal those afflicted in body or spirit. May we be assured that in our own times of need that, even if the whole world turn against us, our God will heal our own wounds and care for us.


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