Chapel of Saint-Roch at Notre-Dame de Niort
An orphan born in Montpellier in the 13th century, Roch left for Rome as a pilgrim. Sick with the plague, he retired to a forest where he was fed by a dog who brought him bread stolen from his master's table every day. Intrigued, his master followed him and discovered the wounded saint. Back in his homeland, he was disfigured by the mortifications he had undergone. Arrested, he refuses to give his name. Mistaken for a spy in a city in the midst of civil war, he was thrown into prison, where he died after five years. On the eve of his death, he revealed to a priest his identity and his relationship to the lord of the castle where he was imprisoned.
The 19th-century plaster statue shows him with the stigma of the plague on his leg and a dog holding a loaf of bread in its mouth. He wears a hat stamped with a shell, a pilgrim's cloak, a bumblebee (staff), a calabash for drinking and a pouch for eating.