St. Roch No's 1 & 2
In Gumbo Ya-Ya, Lyle Saxon called St. Roch’s “one of the most unusual cemeteries in New Orleans.” He wrote that it had an appearance of great age, despite its relative youth. The story of St. Roch Cemetery begins with Holy Trinity Church in the Faubourg Marigny. This lovely church sits defunct and abandoned in a tract of land that was once called “Little Saxony,” since it received the waves of German immigrants pouring into New Orleans during the 1840’s. This German speaking Catholic parish was founded in 1847, while two blocks away is the city’s first Protestant German church, St. Paul Lutheran, founded in 1840. The congregations included artisans, shopkeepers, farmers, dairymen, and the settlers of Milneburg. Holy Trinity served the area as the parish church until 1871, when it was divided and St. Boniface parish was created.
St. Roch Cemetery was founded by Reverend P.L. Thevis in 1874. During one of New Orleans’ Yellow Fever outbreaks, the patron saint of protection from epidemics, Saint Roch, was prayed to and was asked to protect the people of New Orleans during this epidemic. When nobody from the Reverend’s Church died of Yellow Fever, Thevis founded this Cemetery, as part of his promise to Saint Roch. He promised that if Saint Roch would keep his people safe, he would build a chapel to Saint Roch. This Chapel is now inside of St. Roch Cemetery.
The St. Roch cemetery chapel is particularly noteworthy due to the offerings left to those in recognition of answered prayers. The cemetery is well maintained by the current congregation, and is actively used today.
1725 St Roch Avenue
New Orleans, LA 70117
Monday-Sunday: 8:30 am to 4:00 pm
Holiday closings vary
For more information, contact:
Archdiocese of New Orleans