Monday, September 26, 2011

The Life of (the former) St. Rocco

It was Rocco's birthday dinner recently and over a deliciously cooked meal my Mom looked at Nonna and said," I am sorry to have to tell you this, but your son is converting to Protestantism." Rocco who walks in the candlelit procession of the Blessed Madonna in Sicily every summer and an atheist who refers to my mother's Methodist church as "lesbian church," was nodding in agreement.
Apparently, St. Rocco's day has been officially taken off the Catholic Saint Day calendar, Marcy explained, and the day has been given to a Hungarian Saint. The disgrace!
"That fucking Hungarian Saint can go die! Take away my saint day? I will never be a Catholic again!"
I thought saints were already dead and martyred, but what do I know. Cursing a Saint to death is pretty demented and once again makes me question what kind of genetics I have floating around inside me.
St. Rocco's story goes like this: while plagued with the plague, St. Rocco hid out in a cave and was close to death until a dog came to his rescue. How happy. During times of severe epidemics the people of Southern Italy prayed to St. Rocco for health. Especially those crazy Sicilian hypochondriacs.
Ever since I was a kid Rocco always said, "I'm a very sick-ah man!" Maybe it was his saint alter ego talking. And when he loses an inch off his belly, he says, "Jen, I'm withering away! I'm dying!"
The kicker: St. Rocco is French! Why is that so satisfying to me? Not every awesome person is Sicilian, Rocco. For the record, my dad think thats George Washington is a Sicilian descendant. Sicily Fries anyone?

More on St. Rocco.