Posted on Aug 27th 2019
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Saint_Roch Who was St. Roch? St. Roch (c. 1295-1327) was a nobleman from Montpellier, France, the only son of the wealthy governor of the city. He was also known as St. Rocco, although we could not find any connection between this and the popular dog name.
What is a Patron Saint?
What does it mean to be a patron saint anyways? A patron saint protects and/or guides those that it is the saint of. Now, we'll admit that dogs aren't the only thing that St. Roch is the patron of. St. Roch also protects several other things, including "falsely accused people" and "bachelors"... Obviously, we cared the most about him protecting companion dogs though!
Why Is St. Roch The Patron Saint Of Dogs?
You don't earn the title of Patron Saint of Dogs just because you were a good person, but it does help. While living during the time of the bubonic plague, St. Roch healed many of the plague's victims. He knew the risks of the job. So, he wasn't surprised when he contracted the deadly plague himself. Miraculously, legend has it that a dog visited him while he was sick. St. Roch's wounds healed as the dog licked them. The dog brought him bread to fill his strength. Since his death, people have credited him with returning this favor by healing dogs after prayers after their owners prayers.
When Is St. Roch Celebrated?
We know we're not the only ones that would feel like we missed out if we let a companion pet holiday slip by. Luckily, St. Roch is commemorated on two dates - August 16 in the U.S., and September 9 in Italy. He is celebrated in a variety of ways depending on where you live. For example, in Florence they celebrate with a flower festival, costume parade, races, and competitions. In Spain, they celebrate with festivals featuring traditional dances in honor of St. Roch. Meanwhile, the theme in the U.S. tends to revolve around feasting which, of course, companion pets are welcome to.