St. Corona — Patroness of Epidemic Victims
“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.
Who is St. Corona? — Powerful Coronavirus Prayer
There isn’t much known about St. Corona, but now that the coronavirus pandemic has swept throughout the globe her name and prayer have gone … well … viral. So who is she? What do we know about Saint Corona? The entries are remarkably brief, but this is what we do know:
Victor was a Roman soldier in Syria who was martyred for his Christian faith during the persecutions organized by Emperor Antoninus Pius. Corona was standing in the crowd at the public execution, where she experienced a supernatural vision of two crowns descending from Heaven — one for Victor, and another for some other individual who was about to die for Christ. When she described the revelation to those standing around her, she was also accused of being a Christian and tragically martyred as well. The reports state that she was “torn to pieces between two trees.”
In this period, it was common for martyrs to be canonized with a name which either reflected some virtue which they were a model of or else to be given a name which referred to their life in some other way. In this case, “Corona” is the Latin word for “crown.”
How does this relate to COVID-19?
When scientists first viewed the general virus under a microscope in the 1960’s, they gave it a name which reflected the large prongs which seemed to extend from it, giving it a superficial resemblance to a crown.
So how does this tie into St. Corona and her being called the “patroness of pandemics”?
While the record is a bit difficult to evaluate, a representative for the Cathedral of Aachen indicated that there is a tradition specific to Germany of invoking St. Corona for the protection against plagues. It is difficult to say how widespread the association between St. Corona and disease was before the current coronavirus pandemic gripped the world but what is clear is the overwhelming interest in and devotion to Saint Corona.
Whether or not the new patronage will stick for St. Corona remains to be seen. In the meantime, it certainly doesn’t hurt to spend more time in prayer and reflecting on a courageous young woman who gave her life for the Christian faith. If we get to enlist her aid against the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, so much the better.