Is St. Corona Really The Patron of Epidemics?

Sts Corona and Victor

There’s been some controversy over whether St. Corona, a very early martyr, was a patron of epidemics. We usually think of a saint as one that gets official patronages from Rome, but throughout history patrons were more regional because the faith was, as was everything, especially in early times, more local. So while Corona, some of whose relics are in northern Italy, wasn’t a patron of epidemics there, she WAS the patron of epidemics in Aachen, Austria where the rest of her relics are buried – along with Charlemagne, in Aachen Cathedral, an historic coronation site for German kings and queens.

The point to take away is that all saints are seeing the face of God in heaven, and can pray for us to Jesus about any matter. Apparently, St. Corona has been invoked in the past for protection against epidemics and, one would imagine, has come through with that help, that is why she is a patron in Austria. So we can surely ask her for her prayers today. If she wasn’t the “official” patron before, she certainly is now.

There’s no need for controversy, all of heaven sees our distress, pain, and confusion here on earth, and they are all praying for us. This controversy certainly has been an interesting lesson in saints and their patronages. Really, any place or group, or even an individual, can adopt someone as their patron. And, as a profound thought, there are no coincidences with God. If this virus is named a “coronavirus,” and the saint was named “Corona” there’s a reason for it.

I thought you would find this one link helpful on this topic. It isn’t a Catholic source, but does have some helpful information. Stay safe – and stay home!

Photo: Sts. Corona & Victor undergoing martyrdom in 176 AD, from an Illuminated miniature in a Book of Hours, France (Paris), ca. 1480.

The Whole World Awaits Mary’s Reply: A Meditation for Advent & Christmas

The Annunciation, Caravaggio, 1608 (Wikimedia Commons)

This is a beautiful meditation from St. Bernard of Clairvaux that was in today’s Office of Readings in the Liturgy of the Hours (iBreviary). May it be a blessing to you as it was to me.

From a homily In Praise of the Virgin Mother by Saint Bernard of Clairvaux, abbot, (died 1153.)

The whole world awaits Mary’s reply.

You have heard, O Virgin, that you will conceive and bear a son; you have heard that it will not be by man but by the Holy Spirit. The angel awaits an answer; it is time for him to return to God who sent him. We too are waiting, O Lady, for your word of compassion; the sentence of condemnation weighs heavily upon us.

The price of our salvation is offered to you. We shall be set free at once if you consent. In the eternal Word of God we all came to be, and behold, we die. In your brief response we are to be remade in order to be recalled to life.

Tearful Adam with his sorrowing family begs this of you, O loving Virgin, in their exile from Paradise. Abraham begs it, David begs it. All the other holy patriarchs, your ancestors, ask it of you, as they dwell in the country of the shadow of death. This is what the whole earth waits for, prostrate at your feet. It is right in doing so, for on your word depends comfort for the wretched, ransom for the captive, freedom for the condemned, indeed, salvation for all the sons of Adam, the whole of your race.

Answer quickly, O Virgin. Reply in haste to the angel, or rather through the angel to the Lord. Answer with a word, receive the Word of God. Speak your own word, conceive the divine Word. Breathe a passing word, embrace the eternal Word.

Why do you delay, why are you afraid? Believe, give praise, and receive. Let humility be bold, let modesty be confident. This is no time for virginal simplicity to forget prudence. In this matter alone, O prudent Virgin, do not fear to be presumptuous. Though modest silence is pleasing, dutiful speech is now more necessary. Open your heart to faith, O blessed Virgin, your lips to praise, your womb to the Creator. See, the desired of all nations is at your door, knocking to enter. If he should pass by because of your delay, in sorrow you would begin to seek him afresh, the One whom your soul loves. Arise, hasten, open. Arise in faith, hasten in devotion, open in praise and thanksgiving. Behold the handmaid of the Lord, she says, be it done to me according to your word.