Glossary

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Saint Roch

Roch, known as Rocco in Italian, was born in Montpellier in the 14th century. He travelled to northern Italy, where he helped care for victims of the Black Death, to which he eventually fell victim himself. According to legend, he was looked after by a dog in the forest who brought him bread and licked the sore on his thigh.

On his return to Montpellier, illness had so changed his appearance that he was not recognised and thrown into prison as an imposter, still accompanied by his dog. After his death, his remains were removed to Venice by the Venetians. He is one of the saints invoked against the plague.

He is usually depicted wearing pilgrim's robes, with a scallop-shell badge and a staff, his hose drawn back to show the plague scar on his thigh.
 
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