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Novena to St. Roque

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 St. Roque

Born at Montpellier, France towards 1295, St. Roque is said to have been found miraculously marked on the breast with a red cross at his birth. His parents were killed when he was about twenty years old. Since his father was governor of that city, he was left with much inheritance. While in the guise of a mendicant pilgrim, he set out for Italy which was stricken by the plague. Before he left, he distributed his fortune among the poor and handing over to his uncle the government of Montpellier. Arriving in Italy, he devoted the rest of his life to the plague-stricken, curing them with the sign of the cross. Every where he went to, the terrible pestilence disappeared before his saintly presence and miraculous power. He was also stricken with the plague but later recovered with, according to a legend, the help of a dog which licked his wounds and brought him food.

Roque returned to France and when he came back at Montpellier, he earnestly refused to the authorities the disclosure of his identity. Stirring up much suspicion, he was presumed to be a spy disguising as a pilgrim. He was then arrested and imprisoned by order of the governor—his own uncle, as some writers would consider—where five years later (1327), he died. The miraculous cross marked on his breast as well as a document they found in his possession later revealed his true identity. He was then accorded with a public funeral. Years after which, numerous miracles attested to his sanctity.

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