Do you have a beloved canine in your family? St. Rocco's story will have a special place in your heart, and it explains why many Catholic families name their dogs Rocco!
St. Rocco, a French orphan whose wealthy uncle cared for him, rejected the luxe life, and as a young adult, donated his sizeable inheritance to the poor and sought a life as a pilgrim. While traveling on pilgrimage, he often cured the sick and helped the unfortunate, until he himself contracted the plague, which rendered him sick, feeble, and an outcast from society. Rocco found a safe place to live in a deserted cave, where a local dog brought him bread on a daily basis, and this was how Rocco survived until he recovered. Upon his return to France, he was jailed as a suspected spy for years, doted on by an angel, until his death.
St. Rocco is the patron saint of dogs, and we celebrate his feast day on August 16.