What They LeftThursday, July 10, 2014
'I Left My Leg in St. Roch Cemetery': what people leave at the National Shrine of Saint Roch in New Orleans.
These are ex votos, tokens of thanks to St. Roch (pronounced “Rock” here in New Orleans) that the faithful have left for generations. They speak to specific human pain and needs beyond ethereal prayer. A heart may be left for lost-love regained, a hand in hopes of eased arthritis. A voodoo-like feeling, worship outside the bounds of sanctioned church activity, hangs over the room.
In 1867, Rev. Thevis asked Saint Roch for intercession to protect from yellow fever, and not a single parishioner died. In 1876, the chapel in his honor opened.
My last time here was 2010. These pics from December, 2013: