Feast of San Roque on August 16

Published August 16, 2022, 10:16 AM

by Christina Hermoso

Roman Catholics commemorate Tuesday, Aug. 16, the feast day of San Roque (Saint Roch), the revered patron saint of the sick and the invalid.

San Roque (Manila Bulletin file photo)

Kalookan Bishop Emeritus Deogracias Iniguez, Jr. will celebrate a fiesta mass in his honor at the San Roque Cathedral in Caloocan City at 8 a.m. Novena masses were held from Aug. 7 to 15. Papal Nuncio Archbishop Charles John Brown presided over the novena and the holy mass last Aug. 7.

At the San Roque de Manila Parish in Blumentritt, Manila, Novaliches Bishop Antonio Tobias will preside over the fiesta mass at 6 a.m. Novaliches Bishop Emeritus Teodoro Bacani, Jr. will preside over the 6 p.m. Eucharistic celebration.

A procession will be held at 4 p.m. The community fiesta will be celebrated on Aug. 21 with holy masses at 6 a.m., 8 a.m., 10 a.m.,4 p.m., and at 6 p.m. Meanwhile, the 71st parish fiesta will be observed on Aug. 25 with holy masses at 6 a.m. and at 6 p.m.

Venerated as the protector against the plague, local devotion to San Roque started as early as the year 1637 when, according to stories, many were miraculously cured of malaria after holding a procession in honor of the healing saint.

At the height of the pandemic, Antipolo Bishop Francisco de Leon called on the faithful to pray to San Roque for protection against Covid-19. Church-run Radio Veritas holds a daily nationwide prayer to San Roque for deliverance against the coronavirus pandemic at 4 p.m.

The Archdiocese of Manila, likewise, designated four parishes under the patronage of San Roque as Archdiocesan Churches of Intercession.

Then Manila Apostolic Administrator now Taytay, Palawan Bishop Broderick S. Pabillo said, the designation was made upon the request of the parish priests of the churches and based on the recommendation of the Archdiocesan Liturgical Commission and the Judicial Vicar of the Archdiocese of Manila. The San Roque Parish Churches are located in Blumentritt, Pasay, Mandaluyong, and Sampaloc.

Born in 1295 in Montpellier, France, San Roque was miraculously marked from birth with a red cross on his chest that increased in size as he grew up. He entered the Franciscan Order and cared for the sick and the poor. He was known as a miracle healer as he cured the sick through prayer, the touch of his hand, and by making the sign of the cross. San Roque died at the age of 32 on Aug. 16, 1327, and was buried at the Church of San Rocco in Venice, Italy.