Who is Saint Corona? Is this lesser-known martyr really the patron saint of pandemics?

Saint Corona has now become one of the most searched saints due to the outbreak of Coronavirus.

Saint Corona
Is Saint Corona the patron saint of pandemics? Catholicsaints

The whole world is in the middle of the novel Coronavirus pandemic with many scientists struggling to develop a vaccine against it. The virus outbreak has also disrupted the daily life of millions of people all over the globe.

In an attempt to control the spread of the virus infection to more and more people, all the countries have also requested the heads of different religious communities to restrict the gathering of its followers as part of the usual prayer meetings and rituals. Even Vatican, the headquarters of the Roman Catholic Church, has witnessed a temporary shutdown as 31,506 cases have been reported from different parts of Italy.

Did you know there is a saint called St. Corona?

Now, it looks like a lesser-known Catholic saint has now become a topic of discussion, all thanks to Coronavirus. Her name itself is the reason why she is being searched by many – Saint Corona. Shocked? Many are even sharing photos of this saint with a prayer request on multiple social media platforms claiming that she is the patron saint of pandemics.

The Google Trends screenshot on the keyword 'Saint Corona' search history in the past 5 years can be seen below.

The Google trend screenshot shows that the lesser-known Saint Corona is searched by many following the Coronavirus outbreak
The Google trends screenshot shows that the lesser-known Saint Corona is searched by many following the Coronavirus outbreak Google Trends

Who is Saint Corona?

Not much is known about Saint Corona. However, it is understood that the relics of St. Victor and St. Corona have been preserved since the 9th century at a basilica in Anzu in Northern Italy. In Latin, the word Corona means garland or crown.

The legend

There exists an ambiguity on the dates and locations her martyrdom. While some say it was in Syria, other claim it would be Damascus or Antioch. It is believed that she was killed in 170 AD, at the age of 16, apparently during the reign of Marcus Aurelius.

According to the legend, Victor was a Roman soldier of Italian ancestry. He used to serve in Damascus, Roman Syria, during the reign of Emperor Antoninus Pius. However, he was brutally tortured after his Christian faith was discovered. Apart from gouging out his eyes, he was savagely whipped until his skin fell from his body.

Meanwhile, when Corona, who was the wife of another soldier, heard of the cruel treatment towards Victor, she decided to help him. The 16-year-old, who had kept her Christian faith as a secret till then publicly announced it. However, she was also arrested and was tied to the tops of two palm trees bent down to the ground. Later, the ropes she was tied to were cut following which her body was ripped in half.

Meanwhile, Victor was later beheaded as per the orders of Roman judge Sebastian. However, there are other theories that state that both Victor and Corona were actually husband and wife.

The feast of both St. Victor and St. Corona is observed on May 14.

Is St. Corona really the patron saint of pandemics?

Certain reports suggest that St. Corona is considered as one of the patron saints of pandemics. However, according to Catholic websites on saints, St. Corona is invoked in connection with superstitions involving money, such as gambling or treasure hunting. Instead, Edmund the Martyr is considered the patron saint of pandemics by the Catholic church.