As the world finds itself in the grip of the global Covid-19 Pandemic, many people are discovering and turning to a little known 2nd-Century Catholic Saint named Saint Corona, whose relics have been preserved since the 9th century, in a basilica in Anzù, Italy.
While little is known about the life of Saint Corona, it is generally accepted that she was martyred during the reign of Emperor Antoninus in the year 165 A.D. in Damascus.
The most common pious legend around Saint Corona involves another Saint, St. Victor, a Roman soldier of Italian ancestry, who was stationed in Damascus. Saint Victor was tortured for refusing to renounce his faith- including having his eyes gouged out, before ultimately being beheaded.
While Saint Victor was being tortured, the sixteen-year-old Saint Corona comforted and prayed for him. Because of this, she was arrested and interrogated by the Romans and found to be a Christian. According to some accounts, Saint Corona, was tied between to two bent palm trees and torn apart as the trunks were released. Her relics were transferred to Aachen around 1000 A.D. by Emperor Otto III.
In two separate investigations in 1943 and in 1981, the relics were dug up and confirmed to belong to St. Corona and St. Victor. Saint Corona is especially venerated in Austria and Bavaria as the patron saint of treasure hunters, since her name means “crown’ and since coins often feature the crown of the ruler who issued them it seemed fitting. She is often invoked for protection against epidemics.
Saint Corona’s feast day, along with Saint Victor, is May 14th.