Litany to St Roch – Protector against Plagues

St Roch – San Roque or San Rocco – was born in Montpellier in the 14th century. Devout from childhood, on his parents’ death, he gave his inheritance to the poor and set out for Rome. This was at a time when Italy was in the grip of a plague. At Cesena, Rimini and elsewhere he nursed the sick with devotion and courage and effected many cures, considered miraculous. At Piacenza, he fell ill and was driven out of the town. He made himself a shelter in the woods, where a dog belonging to local nobleman found him, bringing him bread each day and licking his wounds to heal them. Returning at last to Montpellier, he was thrown into prison by his uncle and died there. According to the Golden Legend, an angel entered the prison and left a tablet promising that those who called upon St Roch in times of epidemics and plagues would find relief. He was an immensely popular saint with numerous churches dedicated to hm across the world. In paintings, he is usually shown exhibiting a plague bubo and accompanied by the faithful dog. At a time when doctors could do little or nothing, the processions, litanies and votive offerings made to one who was no only a saint, but had himself survived the plague must have given a sense of hope and agency in a desperate situation. This is part of one of the many versions of the Litany of St Roch.

Saint Roch, confessor,
pray for us.

Saint Roch, given to the prayers of your parents,
pray for us.

Saint Roch, brought up in holiness,
pray for us.

Saint Roch, mortified from your infancy,
pray for us.

Saint Roch, giving away all your goods to the poor
after the death of your parents,
pray for us.

Saint Roch, who did quit your country to live unknown,
pray for us.

Saint Roch, taking care of the sick at Rome,
pray for us.

Saint Roch, attacked by the plague at Florence,
pray for us.

Saint Roch, cured of the plague by the grace of God,
pray for us.

Saint Roch, consoling men in public calamity,
pray for us.

Saint Roch, taken as spy, put in prison,
pray for us.

Saint Roch, prisoner four years,
pray for us.

Saint Roch, patient in sickness,
pray for us.

Saint Roch, model of a recluse,
pray for us.

Saint Roch, by love of shame,
pray for us.

Saint Roch, pattern of chastity,
pray for us.

Saint Roch, pattern of patience,
pray for us.

Saint Roch, dying in the odor of sanctity,
pray for us.

Saint Roch, praying against the plague,
pray for us.

Saint Roch, whose image carried in procession by the fathers in Council
dispersed the plague at Constance,
pray for us.

Saint Roch, honored in hospitals,
pray for us.

Saint Roch, whose worship is universal,
pray for us.

Saint Roch, whose images are universal,
pray for us



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