Scuola Grande di San Rocco I

This scuola was built on ground that was relinquished by the Franciscans of the Frari church. For a good summary of the painting cycle with accurate images painted by Tintoretto in this scuola: click [here] for the Web Gallery of Art, Wikipedia with many images or the official site of this scuola.

Scuole Grande di San Rocco and the church San Rocco        San Rocco

photos: Bernard Blanc and church: Didier Rescouens

Scuolo Grande di San Rocco

photo: Didier Rescouens

This scuola was founded in the honour of the Saint Roch (San Rocco) as a charity for the ill. The construction was started in 1515 by Bartolomeo Bon. The money was raised by those Venetians who were spared by the plague. Roch was the saint of those Venetians. If we were to believe the hagiography about Roch, he has lived an extraordinary life. At the age of twenty Roch gave away all his possessions and went on pilgrimage. On his way to Rome he takes care of people who suffer from the plague.At Piacenza he gets infected with the disease himself, his dog brings him bread

“And a little while after Gotard, and his fellows, for certain necessities and errands, returned into Piacenza and left that time St. Rocke alone in the valley. And St. Rocke made his prayers to Almighty God that he might be delivered from the wounds of pestilence, and in this prayer he fell asleep. And in the meanwhile returned Gotard from the city, and when he came and joined him to Rocke sleeping, he heard the voice of an angel saying: O Rocke, friend of God, our Lord hath heard thy prayers, lo, thou art delivered from the pestilence, and art made all whole, and our Lord commandeth that thou take the way toward thy country.”
Source: Golden Legend ‘Life of St. Roch’

Saint Roch 1525

The disease leaves scars on the body of the survivors. Roch wasn’t trusted in his hometown, because of those scars. He gets thrown in jail. He dies, but God engraves a message in the wall of his cell. Roch is appointed as plague caretaker. Roch’ bones are stolen from Montpellier and brought to Venice. His tomb is in de church of San Rocco and  The scuola owns a relic  of Saint Roch, a finger of him. This very fancy silver and gold reliquary at the Scuola Grande and is only displayed on a few occasions.

Entrance to the scuola Grande di San Rocco

photo: Jörgens.mi