Saint Corona - A Saint for Perilous Times
Saint Corona - A saint for perilous times.
By Mother Amanda Sessions+ OB, OC, OR
There’s been a surge in popularity for a nearly forgotten early saint of the church, a martyr known as Saint Corona. She is listed as a martyr from 170 A.D. who was martyred with Saint Victor. There isn’t much listed about her life prior to her martyrdom but what is written is that while Saint Victor was being tortured for being a Roman Soldier who dared be a Christian who converted others, Saint Corona had a vision of two crowns descending from heaven, one for Saint Victor and one for another. She then declared her faith and when taken in custody, she went to Saint Victor and comforted him with her prayers and letting him know that he wasn’t alone. Saint Victor was beheaded and for her boldness, Saint Corona was bound between two bent palm trees and then the ropes holding the trees bent were cut, tearing her apart.
Saint Corona was previously known as the patron saint of lumberjacks, gambling, and treasure hunters. What does this have to do with her most recent invocations against the Covid-19 Coronavirus Pandemic? Well, in many German towns and parishes, she was invoked against plagues, and in New Mexico’s cowboy culture, she was invoked to protect herds from diseases.
There are new initiatives going out across the world invoking Saint Corona. Perhaps this obscure Saint has come to light at a time when faith is dearest and needed greatly. It is fitting that a young woman, who in some accounts was the wife of a Roman soldier or even Saint Victor himself, martyred for providing prayers and comfort to a dying man, has found popularity again when the whole world has been seeking for someone to comfort them and the dying. She might not have been widely popular before, but her patronage has been given new life and perhaps for good reason. May we remember this saint and ask her to pray for us as we endure the trials surrounding our current pandemic.
Prayer to St. Corona in a Time of Epidemic
(Courtesy of Angela M. Orsini of The Catholic Witness)
Lord, Jesus Christ, You came into this world for our salvation.
Look kindly on us now, we pray, that we, and all those who serve You, might be kept safe from this epidemic. Heal those who are sick, comfort the suffering, bring back those who have gone astray, and above all, increase our faith, O Lord. Give us the grace to follow You and, like the martyr St. Corona, who gave her life for love of You, to take up our crosses daily without fear or hesitation. Lord Jesus Christ, Son of the living God, have mercy on us and on the whole world. St. Corona, patroness of epidemic victims, pray for us.