By Christina Hermoso
Roman Catholics will celebrate tomorrow the feast day of San Roque (Saint Roch), the revered patron saint of the sick and the invalid.
The 8th novena mass, which started on Aug. 9, will be held at the San Roque Parish in Pateros, Manila. Bishop Mylo Hubert Vergara will celebrate a high mass at 7:30 a.m. on Sunday.
At the San Roque Parish in Barranka, Mandaluyong City, celebrations will also be held on Sunday. Manila Archbishop Luis Antonio Cardinal Tagle will preside over a high mass at 6 p.m. A high mass will also be held at 9:45 a.m.
Venerated as the protector against the plague, local devotion to San Roque started as early as the 1637 when, according to stories, many were miraculously cured of malaria after holding a procession in honor of the healing saint.
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.