HOWEVER, the time in New Orleans was fantastic! Warm weather every day, flip flops & tank tops, cool breezes to help with the heat, an amazing wedding that had everyone laughing and having a good time...
|the happy Mr & Mrs ♥|
First thing that caught my eye was this row that I avoided like the plague... who knows what could have happened!? Imagine the blog post nine months from now: Jeebus Is Back! (No. Just NO.)
Anyway... we all wandered around taking pictures. St Roch really is a beautiful cemetery, with an interesting history. Apparently St Roch was a man born (with a red cross on his chest- trust me, this is an important bit of the story) in France in the 1290's whose parents died when he was in his 20's. His father was the governor of the town, so when his father died Roche inherited the position, but then ceded it to his Uncle, and after giving away all his wordly possessions, split town and went to go try to help the poor in Rome. The story goes that along the way he stopped in a town that had been hit by the plague, and that every sick person he touched was healed. Allegedly everywhere he went everyone was healed. That's a pretty bad ass talent if you ask me.
However, one day HE got sick, and not wanting to be a burden to anyone, he wandered off into the woods to die. Supposedly a dog found him there and licked his wounds (eweee!!) and would bring him bread everyday, eventually bringing him back to good health.
St Roch returned to France, but the story goes that he refused to identify himself... which landed his ass in jail 'cause people thought he was a spy. For 5 years he and his BFF (the dog) would take care of, and heal, prisoners... then died. Upon his death the red cross on his chest was revealed, and documents that had been in his pockets disclosed who he really was. (Guess the prison system was different in the early 1300's...)
100 years later he was canonized and is the saint of dogs and dog lovers. He even has a "feast day" on August 16. (Man, I want a feast day! I think cupcakes should be the official holiday food for "Me Day!")
When New Orleans was plagued with the yellow fever epidemic in 1868, a dude named Father Peter Leonard Thevis, who was a pastor of the Holy Trinity Catholic Church, remembered St. Roch had cured people during the plague, so he and his peeps prayed to the saint for help and promised to build a chapel to St. Roch if they all made it through unscathed. No one in the congregation died of yellow fever, so Thevis made good on his promise and built a shrine, as well as a cemetery.
On the altar of the chapel is a statue of St. Roch and his dog. The shrine is where people (believers) have have left crutches and other items claiming miraculous cures through the powers of St. Roch. (btw...Father Thevis is buried under the floor in front of the altar.)
There's also an old tradition where young girls would make a pilgrimage to St Roch Chapel on Good Friday (which is right before Easter- when we gorge on Easter candy because it's unavoidable... you think St Roch can un-upset my tummy) These girls believed that if you prayed and left a donation at 9 different churches (the 9th one being St Roch) during the pilgrimage they'd be guaranteed to find a husband within a year. These girls also picked four leaf clovers that had red spots on them, 'cause supposedly the spots came from the blood of a bride-to-be- who committed suicide on the grave of her intended husband and splattered blood everywhere. (uh...again...eweeee!)
|This was the best picture I could get of it since the doors were locked, but you can check out this link if you want more details about the weird limbs and things left behind at the shrine: http://morbidanatomy.blogspot.com/search?q=st.+roch|
....(click to enlarge if you want to see 'um bigger)
|weird image of a ghostie? hmmm?|
|I loved how "80's" this wall looked in comparison to the rest of the place, & upon closer inspection found out that is when all these people died.|