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Roch (St.)


Patron of those afflicted with the plague, because he devoted his life to their service, and is said to intercede for them in his exaltation. He is depicted in a pilgrim’s habit, lifting his dress to display a plague-spot on his thigh, which an angel is touching that he may cure it. Sometimes he is accompanied by a dog bringing bread in his mouth, in allusion to the legend that a hound brought him bread daily while he was perishing in a forest of pestilence.

St. Roch’s Day (August 16th), formerly celebrated in England as a general harvest-home, and styled “the great August festival.” The Anglo-Saxon name of it was harfest (herb-feast), the word herb meaning autumn (German herbst), and having no relation to what we call herbs.

St. Roch et son chien. Inseparables; Darby and Joan.

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Entry taken from Dictionary of Phrase and Fable, edited by the Rev. E. Cobham Brewer, LL.D. and revised in 1895.

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