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At This Time of Year We Hear about Saint Nick, but Who is the Patron Saint of Dogs?

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Party Marty here! It’s Friday! I’ve been waiting all week for this day! Usually I blog about stuff that will show my contempt for dogs, but I am in the spirit of giving this holiday season and want to share with you some fun stuff I learned on the internet.  Let’s get started and you can share this information at any holiday parties you attend this weekend and look like a “Roch” star….read on and find out how.

Do you know who the patron saint of dogs is? Well, according to a story on (notice the word cat in catholic?), it is a French saint from the 13th/14th century era named Roch, which is pronounced as roak in French and rock in English.

This medieval saint was born in France circa 1295, allegedly with a red birthmark in the shape of a cross on his chest. Although it has been told that his parents died when he was very young, leaving him a fortune, such material blessings bore no appeal to Roch. He thus rid himself of his riches and turned to a life of simplicity. He was soon inspired to make a trek to Rome.

Upon his arrival in Rome, Roch was faced with a few towns stricken by the plague. His instinct for kindness encouraged him to stop and minister to the afflicted. It has been told that through his prayers, miracles of healing occurred.

After spending so much time with the sick, Roch himself fell ill to the plague. He retreated to a makeshift shelter in the forest and waited for what he feared would most assuredly end in his demise. By this time, he was known among the people in Italy as Rocco, which is the Italian version of his name.

Lo and behold, it was a dog that came to his aid. During his agonizing days in the forest, a dog appeared out of nowhere and began to present bread from its mouth to Rocco. Each day, the dog would return, bringing bread and comfort to Rocco. Some believe the dog’s nurturing behavior towards Rocco saved his life, which then allowed him to continue his ministry of compassion towards others.

After he died in 1327, Rocco was declared a saint – St. Roch/Rocco – and that is how he became the patron saint of dogs!

Cool story, huh?  Guess now I will have to go dig up information on the patron saint of cats. Of course, if there is a vacancy in this regard, I will be more than happy to apply for the position. In the right light, I could look rather saintly, don’t you think?


Photo Source:  Wikipedia


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