So yes, I am still practicing and taking on clients. Unfortunately, with the rise of the COVID pandemic and my work in healthcare, I have not had much time to update this website or to post blogs. I have been exploring Fraktur and have been experimenting with some designs for powwow charms incorporating Fraktur art and have also been working on a project with my friend, mentor and teacher Rob Phoenix. By the way, if you have not checked out his recent book on powwow and divination, I would urge you to do so. It contains a wealth of wonderful information.
Devotions to St. Roch
With the pandemic still raging, I wanted to mention St. Roch. He is the patron saint against plagues. He has quite an interesting life. There are various dates for his birth, but it is accepted that he lived generally in the late 13th to early 14th century. For years, he has been called upon in times of plague. One can even find a plethora of old medals asking his intercession to be delivered from cholera. These are two items from my personal collection showing this devotion.
The first of these is an old Portuguese print from the late 18th century invoking his prayers against the plague:
The second image is of a late 19th century French medal invoking his aid against a cholera outbreak:
I think that asking intercessions to St. Roch during this time of pandemic may be particularly helpful for individuals both for comfort and for divine protection.
The following prayer from Churchpop.com may be of particular use to some individuals:
Prayer to St. Roch
O Blessed Saint Roch,
Patron of the sick,
Have pity on those
Who lie upon a bed of suffering.
Your power was so great
When you were in this world,
That by the sign of the Cross,
Many were healed of their diseases.
Now that you are in heaven,
Your power is not less.
Offer, then, to God
Our sighs and tears
And obtain for us that health we seek
Through Christ our Lord.
(Repeat the following 3 times)
Saint Roch, pray for us,
That we may be preserved
From all diseases of body and soul.
The Stones of St. Michael
Another popular devotion for individuals against the plague were the famous stones from Monte St. Angelo in Gargano, Italy. Essentially, according to pious tradition, St. Michael the Archangel appeared in this cave to a poor farmer. He subsequently appeared several times across the centuries and the cave is one of the holiest in Europe and also one of the oldest.
According to tradition, individuals would carry stones from this cave in order to protect themselves from plagues and other evil sent upon them by the devil.
The stones can be found on many sites on the internet, including Ebay, and some for exorbitant prices. However, the monks in charge of the shrine at the Basilica Santuario San Michele will send out the relics to anyone who asks for them. They do ask for a donation, however, to cover the costs of shipping and the actual reliquary in which they come encased.
If you send a donation (I usually like to send $50.00) and ask for two relics, they will send them to you – but if does take some time.
The official website for the Basilica (where more information may be found) is:
I have always sent my donations via PayPal to email@example.com
I simply write a note in the comments section of the transaction requesting the relics. You could also email them for more information before sending the donation.
If you are interested in obtaining these, I would highly urge you to obtain them directly from the shrine rather than a third party “seller.”
Anyways, these are some Catholic devotions that have been used in times of plague in the past. While not necessarily powwow related, they are part of the tradition from which powwow grew out of in Europe.
I hope that this blog post has helped my readers a bit during this troublesome time. I pray that you and yours stay safe and healthy and I ask for your prayers as well.
The feast of St. Colette