Personal Ordinariate of Our Lady of Walsingham in Scotland
under the patronage of Saint John Henry Newman

   St Victor and St Corona

St Corona

St Corona, Pray for us

As the world finds itself in the grip of the global Coronavirus, Covid-19 Pandemic, many people are turning for help to a little known 2nd century Saint called Saint Corona.

Her Relics, along with those of Saint Victor, who was Martyred along with her, are venerated in the Basilica Sanctuary of Saint Victor and Saint Corona in the hamlet of Anzu, in the Veneto region of Northern Italy, around 285 ml (459 km) north of Rome, in the area worst affected by the Coronavirus pandemic.

An ancient Greek report from the fourth century, written by a Deacon of the Church of Antioch, tells us that Victor was a Christian soldier who suffered martyrdom in Syria, in the year 171, during the persecution of Marcus Aurelius . Denounced before the court of the Roman prefect Sebastiano and subjected to heinous torture, Victor manifests his faith with serenity and fearlessness.

Corona, the young bride of one of his comrade in arms, was present at the torture, and was so impressed by the testimony of the young soldier that she declared that she was also a Christian and began to comfort him and prayed with him. She was arrested, and after a brief interrogation, was condemned to be hung by the feet at the top of two palm trees, curved by force which, when straightening up violently, tore her apart. Victor, however, was beheaded.

On a lead tablet, enclosed in the ark containing the Relics of the Saints in the Basilica and dating back to the 8th and 9th centuries, Bishop Solino recalls that the relics and fresco of Saints Victor and Corona were transported from their place of martyrdom, perhaps Syria, given its proximity to Cyprus, in the year 205 AD.

The origin of the bodies originating in the East, as tradition dictates, is confirmed by the types of pollen recently found (1981) on the Relics by a team of scholars from the University of Padua. From Cyprus, through various translations, the bodies arrived in Venice where they remained for a time before being taken to Anzu, in the Veneto region of Italy, probably in the 9th century.

The Basilica Sanctuary of St Victor and St Corona in Anzu, Italy

In 1943 and again in 1981, the Relics were examined and the bones found to be male and female. In the 1981 examination, they discovered cedar pollen, which was a typical plant from the Mediterranean basin during the time in question. Archaeologists confirm that this pollen would have been present in Syria and Cyprus.

During the Middle Ages, St Corona was often invoked by treasure hunters, probably due to her name, which means Crown, as coins of the time would often feature the crown of the ruler who issues them. She is usually depicted holding a crown which, of course, as the microscope images we see of the Coronavirus show, is where the virus gets its name, looking like a crown.

St Victor and St Corona are pre-congregation saints meaning that they were recognized as saints prior to the Church Canonisation processes being standardised. The first Saint canonized by a Pope was Ulrich, the Bishop of Augsburg, who died in 973. He was canonized by Pope John XV at the Lateran Council of 993. Canonization became the general law of the church under Pope Gregory IX (1227-41).

St Corona’s Feast Day, along with St Victor’s, is 14th May.

We ask both St Corona and St Victor to pray for us all, that this pandemic may soon subside ... hopefully by the time their Feast Day comes around.