Sunday, August 4, 2019

Saint Rocco with Kids {Snacking with the Saints}

{Disclosure: Some links which follow are affiliate ones.}

If you'd like a super simple snack to celebrate a saint day with, just
buy some spring water, a loaf of bread, and set these out on your table or picnic blanket on August 16 with an image or figurine of a dog and a picture of St. Rocco nearby.

That's what we'll be doing on St. Rocco's feast day.

We may enjoy some more fun and learning, too.


Recently, when I was paging through our copy of Amazing Saints & their Awesome Animals, I noticed that one of the saints that the book it features - St. Rocco - has a feast day coming up. Then, not knowing much about the saint, I got curious and started researching...

Inspiration for a Simple St. Rocco's Feast Day Snack

Source: Wikimedia

As I began my research, I recalled a simple snack for St. Benedict's day that I'd seen on Catholic Cuisine, and thought, "Switch the bird for a dog and that's an easy peasy snack idea for St. Rocco's day that my children will love." (We don't eat a lot of bread here anymore, so bread is actually a treat for my children.)

Then, even though water may not seem very celebratory, I decided spring water would go perfectly, since, it is said spring water kept thirst at bay when St. Rocco was convalescing in the woods after contracting sickness while healing others with the plague.

My "Snacking with the Saints" was set.

A Prayer Before Snacking


Then, as I began researching more about St. Rocco. I found myself on the 
St. Rocco Society of Potenza page, where I found A Prayer to Saint Rocco which will be perfect between grace and enjoying our bread:

O Great St. Rocco, deliver us, we beseech you, from contagious diseases, and the contagion of sin. Obtain, for us, a purity of heart which will assist us to make good use of health, and to bear sufferings with patience. Teach us to follow your example in the practice of penance and charity, so that we may, one day enjoy the happiness of being with Christ, Our Savior, in Heaven. Amen.

We will also read the biography and reflection at Franciscan Media:

It is obvious that being well known or even recognizable are not necessary for sainthood. But service to the community through care for those in need–through miracles at his intercession–seem to suffice.

Additional Ideas for Celebrating St. Rocco's Feast Day

File:Åšw. ROCH..jpg
Source: Wikimedia

Other ideas popped into my head as I researched the saint, too. Perhaps one will inspire a feast day celebration for you and your children.

  • Remember that St. Rocco went out to care for the sick and visit or send a note to a sick friend. Alternately, go to a nursing home or hospital and offer to pray or visit with people.
  • Focus on the Sign of the Cross - and how St. Rocco cured people using it - by doing some free copywork or coloring of the prayer as found on Crusaders for Christ.
  • It is said that St. Rocco fasted twice a week as a pious practice when he was a child. Discuss the virtue of temperance and how we might choose to practice it.
  • Some say St. Rocco was born to wealthy parents who died by the time he was 20 years old, at which time St. Rocco distributed the fortune he inherited to the poor and devoted his life to serving people in need. Following his example, offer some of your own"riches" to others in need.
  • It is said that St. Rocco was born with an unusual, deep red mark on his chest in the shape of a cross as a sign that the Blessed Virgin Mary had heard and answered his mother's prayers for her barrenness to be healed. It is also said that it was the unique mark that helped identify St. Rocco at his death. Remembering this, pray for Mama Mary's intercession with a difficult issue and chat about physical and spiritual "marks" in our own lives that identify us
  • Go on a virtual tour to Venice, looking at some pictures and reading about St. Rocco, festivities for his feast day on DreamDiscoverItalia
  • Make dog treats as found on Saints, Feast, Family (and look at the beautiful prayers and images in the related post.
  • Go to a natural spring to draw water, go on a tour of a spring water place, or simply enjoy some fresh spring water, remembering how, when St. Rocco"was expelled from the town; and withdrew into the forest, where he made himself a hut of boughs and leaves, which was miraculously supplied with water by a spring that arose in the place; he would have perished had not a dog belonging to a nobleman named Gothard Palastrelli supplied him with bread and licked his wounds, healing them. Count Gothard, following his hunting dog that carried the bread, discovered Saint Roch and became his acolyte."
  • Some say that St. Rocco took refuge in a cave when he was banished. Enjoy a hike somewhere where there are cave-like structures.
  • Some say he slept on leaves. Practice survival skills making leaf beds and other wilderness beds.
  • Some say he took refuge in a remote hut, while others say he built a hut out of sticks and leaves. Design and build your own forest hut.
  • Remembering the dog that cared for St. Rocco, donate something to a dog shelter or give your own dog a special treat.

May learning more about St. Rocco bless you and yours and encourage you to come closer to Christ.

I would love to hear about your favorite traditions, resources, and ideas related to St. Rocco as well as any other Snacking with the Saint inspirations you might offer.

Saint Rocco, pray for us.


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