Saint-Roch was born in Montpellier around 1349 in the Roch de la Croix family.
He studied with the Dominicans, before studying medicine. Orphan at 17, rich and educated, he decided to leave for Rome. The plague is raging. He tirelessly took care of patients in several cities … and managed to heal lots of people. He ended up being himself suffering from the plague, but miraculously healed it!
Milanese lands were then at war. Accused of being a spy, Roch was arrested in Broni. He only revealed his identity to a priest, the day before his death which occured on August 16, 1379. Since 1485, his body has been in the San Rocco church in Venice, which gave a tibia to the Saint-Paul church in Montpellier, where the relic has been resting since, as well as its pilgrim’s stick.
The pilgrims on the road to Saint-Jacques-de-Compostelle which crosses Montpellier, are welcomed in the premises of the sanctuary.
The story tells that in 1854, when cholera epidemics raged in neighboring cities, Montpellier was spared.
The Saint-Roch church, solidly anchored at the heart of the joyful agitation of the surrounding shopping streets, faces a nice trompe-l’oeil. At the rear of the building, on both sides of the church, shaded squares are hosting terraces, playground and fountains.