Folk Artist
Saint Roch

20th century
Painted wood
Private collection, originally from Texas

In this variant of the usual iconography, the angel shown is not the one who healed Roch's wound but the one who brought the writing tablet with the announcement that Roch should be the patron in time of plague. In Caxton's words, "An angel brought from heaven a table [i.e., a writing tablet]…. And in that table was written that God had granted to him his prayer, that is to wit, that who that calleth meekly to St. Rocke he shall not be hurt with any hurt of pestilence," or in the briefer words found on the little tablet here and in similar images, iris in pista patronos, "you shall be patron in time of plague."

The angel brings those same words in another image from Poland, and surely there are many other examples that I have yet to turn up.

As is usual, the dog has a loaf of bread in its mouth and the saint points to the lesion on his left thigh. The words on the green pedestal are San Roque, the Spanish form of Roch's name. The rosary beads along his right thigh are a not uncommon touch in images of this saint.

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More of St. Roch

Photograph by Richard Stracke, shared under Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike license.