Benefactor of the City In the footsteps of St Roch

In the footsteps of St Roch

At the heart of the Ecusson, in a district made of coffee terraces and restaurants, you will find the majestic Saint-Roch church.

This is the name of Montpellier’s benefactor St Roch, who was born here.

Roch, saint healer of plagues in the 14th century and saint of pilgrims, is known worldwide.

Each year on August 16th, a procession  akes place in the city.

Saint-Roch life A bit of History

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.

Saint-Roch Celebrations

Each year on August 16th is an opportunity to celebrate the benefactor of the city of Montpellier: Saint Roch, where he was born.
Montpellier hosts the Saint Roch Celebrations, linked to the meetings organized by the International Association Saint Roch de Montpellier.

This event open to all, welcomes thousands of pilgrims but also visitors and tourists from all around the world.

On the Schedule: circuit dedicated to Saint-Roch with the guides of the Montpellier Tourist office, international conference, processions, liturgical events, festive activities in the streets …