As Ironic as It Sounds, St. Corona is the Patron Saint of Pandemics

No, the virus was not named after her.

There is a saint in the Catholic Church who is the patron saint of pandemics, and her name is St. Corona. The church venerates her as the patron saint of epidemics and pandemics. The church celebrates her feast day on May 14. 

In Catholic tradition, a patron saint is a saint who advocates in heaven for certain causes or things such as nations, afflictions, places, or things. 

Who is St. Corona?

St. Corona was a Christian martyr who was killed in Roman Syria in circa 170 A.D. during the reign of Marcus Aurelius, who was one of the Roman emperors who persecuted Christians.

Some hagiographical texts argue that she was martyred in Damascus, while Coptics texts state she died in Antioch. St. Corona is often mentioned with St. Victor, who was co-martyred with her.

St. Victor was a Roman soldier who was stationed in Damascus in Roman Syria. When the authorities found out that he had converted to Christianity, he was sent to court so he can denounce his Christian faith. Before the court of the Roman prefect Sebastiano, he refused to denounce Christianity, and so he was subjected to heinous torture and had his eyes gouged out.


While St. Victor was suffering, St. Corona, who was the 16-year-old spouse of St. Victor’s fellow soldier (other sources say she is his wife), comforted him. She was caught and arrested.

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Legend states that St. Corona was tied up with her arms bound to two bending palm trees. When the trunks of the trees were released, they tore St. Corona apart.

In 1,000 A.D., the relics of St. Corona were brought to the city of Aachen in Germany.

According to Catholic Pilgrimage, St. Corona was mistakenly and superstitiously prayed to for gambling success and money wishes. Today, people pray to her in times of epidemics or pandemics. The ongoing COVID-19 outbreak, which is caused by a strain of coronavirus, has nothing to do with the name of the saint.

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Mario Alvaro Limos
Features Editor, Esquire Philippines
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