Saints in the Tarot
|St Roch (c.1350-80)
Hermit. Born at Monpellier, spent lifetime in pilgrimage.
Legend tells he caught pest in the travelling and was fed in woods by a dog. After recovering, he showed miracuous healings on sufferers of the plague. Very popular saint in Medieval Age.
Left shows St Roch as painted by Crivelli (c. 1470). It is a convention of St Roch image to demonstrate the pest mark on the thigh by drawing down one hose. Often accompanied by a dog.
Popularity of St Roch produced many quack Roch-type vagabonds throughout Europe. They forged pest marks with wood-gums, and with dogs begging around here and there.
|Fool in the Marseille deck.
The image clearly shows St Roch or Roch-type vagabond. The little bells at the points of the collor are for the warning that plague carrier is approching. The dog and drawn down hose are obvious props.
In certain Italian decks, the fools wear jacket with letter P. Some consider it stands for pazzo, madness. Pest woulld be the answer, perhaps.