Sources say he was probably born at Montpellier, France, son of the governor there. His future career was indicated by a birthmark in the form of a red cross that was deeply marked on his breast. He was orphaned when he was twenty. He did not use his immense fortune for himself but sold all his belongings and distributed the money amongst the poort. He then joined the Third Order of St. Francis and went to Rome to visit the Tombs of the Apostles. While he was there, a plague broke out. He chose to devote himself to caring for the victims of the plague and eventually became a victim himself.
In order to not be a burden to others, he left the hospital and, with the support of a staff, dragged himself wearily to a neighboring woods. There he came upon a dilapidated hut with a bit of straw, where he lay down, thanking God for the quiet lodging. God Himself provided for his nourishment. As He once took care of Elias, sending him bread by means of a raven, so He now sent bread to Roch by means of a dog from a neighboring country house. He did recover and, once his strength was renewed, he returned home.
On his return to Montpellier, he was pronounced a spy in pilgrim's disguise and his uncle, who was governor, ordered him imprisoned (his uncle failed to recognize him and Roch chose not to identify himself). Roch died in prison five years later and was only then identified as the former governor's son by a birthmark in the form of a cross on his chest.
One of our residences in the Community Outreach & Disability Service ministry has adopted St. Roch as their patron Saint. The staff chose him because of his willingness to help the sick, no matter the cost.