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St. James thigh


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It seems that St. James has a wound on his thigh in many pictures and some painted wooden statues.

What is the significance of this wound?
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Past OR future Camino
Pamplona-Santiago, Le Puy- Santiago, Prague- LePuy, Menton- Toulouse, Menton- Rome, Canterbury- Lausanne, Chemin Stevenson, Voie de Vezelay
You are definitely looking at St. Roch. That is not a wound, but a black pestilent sore of bubonic plague. He was banished from his town, and forced to camp on the outskirts, where his faithful dog brought him bread every day , and by a milagro, he recovered. He became the patron saint of this ill and the bread loving Newfoundland dogs.

This is why so many chapels St Roch are just out of town.

I have pictures of his leg and his dog from all over the chemin St Jacques, but have yet to find anyone who knows what the name of his dog was.


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2002 CF: 2004 from Paris: 2006 VF: 2007 CF: 2009 Aragones, Ingles, Finisterre: 2011 X 2 on CF: 2013 'Caracoles': 2014 CF and Ingles 'Caracoles":2015 Logrono-Burgos (Hospitalero San Anton): 2016 La Douay to Aosta/San Gimignano to Rome:
Perhaps because the dog was not his?
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.

(A popular Spanish tongue twister is El perro de san Roque no tiene rabo porque Ramón Ramírez se lo ha robado - Saint Roch's dog has no tail because Ramón Ramírez stole it).



...and a quite difficult one - if you just started learning spanish. However it is a VERY good way to learn to rrrrrrrrrrroll the R's :-D

I actually learned it by using only half the frase "El perro de San Roche no tiene rabo" - I didn't know the rest of it back then ;-)
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Past OR future Camino
2002 CF: 2004 from Paris: 2006 VF: 2007 CF: 2009 Aragones, Ingles, Finisterre: 2011 X 2 on CF: 2013 'Caracoles': 2014 CF and Ingles 'Caracoles":2015 Logrono-Burgos (Hospitalero San Anton): 2016 La Douay to Aosta/San Gimignano to Rome:
South Africans who speak Afrikaans have no problem rolling their 'Rs'. I think the Irish and the Scots are also able to roll their 'Rs'.
Japanese folk have great difficulty and most words with 'r' end up with 'l' instead. In our Zulu language, the name 'Radebe' is pronounced as 'Hadebe'.

(I'm practising the El perro de San Roche .. just in case someone asks me to say it one day!)

Rebekah Scott

Camino Busybody
Past OR future Camino
Many, various, and continuing.
San Roque is a pilgrim saint. He´s always dressed for the Camino de Santiago, with scallop shell and wide-brimmed hat. (no word on what brand of boots he wears, however... :?

You´ll see him and his fellow Frenchman San Martin, all down the Camino, as they were brought here by the French Benedictines who helped "reconquer" and repopulate the camino (and northern Spain) after the Arabs were driven south. We have a beautiful Roque statue in our church here in Moratinos, and his dog has a decidedly modern dog biscuit between his paws. We call the pooch "Rover," only because it fits.

Pilgrims may consider Roque´s plague sores, and wonder if their bedbug bites may somehow compare.


Kevin F. O*brien

Active Member
Past OR future Camino
2002-2019 Via Podiensis, Camino Frances, Via de la plata, Camino del Norte, Camino Primitivo, etc.
Thanks for the info Rebekah and friends! I always thought that the dog had just bit him! It seemed to fit after one or two incidents in France. :mrgreen: Is anyone reading Andy.g's blog on the Camino de Levante? Very inspiring.



Veteran Member
What a wealth of information!
And so many answers so quickly.

Thanks all.
Happy trails.
David, Victoria, Canada.


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Past OR future Camino
Frances 1999, Aragones 2000, Desde Le Puy 2002, Portuguese 2009, hoping RDLP 2014
I was astonished to find out - from the helpful folks at the Museo Das Peregrinaciones - that it is San Roque (along with Santa Susana) who is the Patron of Santiago de Compostela, and not Santiago at all. His saints day is, I believe, August 15th or thereabouts.
As far as his dog is concerned, I am always amazed that Big Macs went as far back as all that!
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Norte/Primitivo (April/May) 2009: Norte/Primitivo (parts) (April/May) 2010: Inglés (May) 2011: Primitivo (April/May) 2012: Norte / Camino de La Reina (April/May) 2013: Camino del Mar / Inglés (May/June) 2015
The Feast Day of San Roque (St. Roche in England) is 16th August. Our local church has a painting of him on the 15th century Rood Screen, complete with dog (looks like a monkey!!) on its back legs offering him bread bun. See:-
He was one of the popular 'Helper Saints' beloved of the ordinary people and there are a number of paintings surviving here in England, especially in Devon and Norfolk. I believe his cult was revived in the 1800's when there were severe outbreaks of cholera.

blessings on your walking
Tio Tel

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