To celebrate the reopening of New Orleans’ St Roch Chapel — dedicated originally in 1876 in gratitude for the saint’s intercession in protecting the city against yellow fever — last month, Father Patrick Williams, vicar general for the Archdiocese of New Orleans, led a prayer ceremony. The restoration, which took four years, also won a 2022 Louisiana Landmarks Society Award for Excellence in Historic Preservation earlier in the month. The building is officially the National Shrine of St Roch.
I know the room just off the chapel for what it holds inside — rhe pictures interspersed above and below are from some of my visits there.
From the article in the Clarion Herald:
St. Roch Chapel’s most famous interior feature was left largely untouched – the grotto-like room holding ex-votos – cast replicas of limbs, leg braces, crutches, children’s shoes and other tokens of gratitude for St. Roch’s healing intercession – survives as a historical freeze-frame of the prayers of past pilgrims.
St Roch was a “Third Order Franciscan who devoted his life to caring for victims of the bubonic plague and was credited with miraculous cures. Born in 1295 in Montpellier, France, St. Roch is the patron saint of the sick, invalids, dogs and dog lovers.
When New Orleans was plagued with wave after wave of yellow fever in the late 19th century, Father Peter Leonard Thevis, pastor of nearby Holy Trinity Church, asked his parishioners to pray to St. Roch for his intercession. In gratitude for a lull in disease outbreaks, Father Thevis’ flock erected the chapel in 1876 as a monument of gratitude.”
Leaders said the chapel will host a Healing Mass on the first Friday of each month at 10, open to all, especially to those in need of healing. More here: nolacatholiccemeteries.org.