Thursday, August 15, 2013

St Roch, patron saint of dogs



August 16 is the day dedicated to St. Roch, patron saint of dogs. Celebrate dogs who help others by buying one our books, and we'll donate what we earn from August 16-18 to ECAD.

Notice the loaf of bread in the dog's mouth!
In his honor, Sharon Sakson and I are donating 100% of our royalties from August 16-18 for three dog-related books to Educating Canines Assisting with Disabilities, ECAD. We both love dogs, and know how meaningful a dog can be to one’s life, and we’re happy to support a group that puts service dogs together with those who need them.

Here are the three books:

Paws and Reflect, a book of essays Sharon and I edited together, about the relationships between gay men and their dogs

Paws and Effect: The Healing Power of Dogs, which Sharon wrote about the many ways in which dogs help their human companions with health issues

In Dog We Trust, the first of my golden retriever mysteries.

Here’s what Sharon and I wrote about St. Roch in Paws and Reflect:

In churches and cathedrals of southern France, there is often a statue of a saint who holds a staff in one hand while a friendly dog leans against his side. This is St. Roch, patron saint of dog trainers.

His story is an interesting one. In 1350, he was the son of the wealthy mayor of Montpellier and lived in aristocratic comfort until one summer when Pope Urban V visited from Rome. Roch was transfixed by the pope’s devotion to his faith and decided to make a pilgrimage to Rome. 

God showed his approval by giving him the gift of healing.
On his return journey, Roch entered village after village where the plague was decimating people. At each village, he tended to the sick, often curing them. 

But in the village of Piacerna, Roch himself fell sick.

He didn’t want the villagers to see his suffering, as he knew they would tend to him and thus reinfect themselves. So he disappeared into a quiet spot in the woods to live out his days. 

But a dog followed him to his hiding place, and each day the dog appeared carrying a loaf of bread. Roch ate the bread, which gave him sustenance to recover. When he was strong enough, the dog led him back to the home of his master, where Roch found friendship and the means to start over in his life as a healer.

1 comment:

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