St. Corona is the Patron Saint of Pandemics, but the virus was not named after her

MANILA, Philippines – Did you know that there is a saint named St. Corona in the Roman Catholic Church? What’s ironic is that St. Corona is the Saint of Pandemics! That means that, in Catholic tradition, St. Corona advocates in heaven for people to be saved from pandemics.

St. Corona is the Patron Saint of Pandemics
Image credits: Religion News / Creative Commons

But just in case you are wondering, well no, the virus was not named after her!


Who is St. Corona?

She might be a relatively unknown saint, but St. Corona recently piqued the interest of many, especially in this time of COVID-19, a pandemic caused by a strain of the coronavirus.

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

The location of St. Corona’s place of death through execution remains a subject of debate. Some Coptics texts state she died in Antioch but hagiographical texts report that she was martyred in Damascus. But though the exact location could not be established, what is sure is that St. Corona died alongside St. Victor; they are co-martyred.

Some texts argue that St. Corona is the wife of St. Victor while others write that she is the wife of St. Victor’s fellow soldier. But the 16-year-old woman was executed after she comforted St. Victor, a Roman soldier who was subjected to torture after converting to Christianity.

Stationed in Damascus in Roman Syria, St. Victor converted to Christian faith in secret. He was supposed to persecute Christians but he turned into one. When his superiors found out that he had converted to Christianity, he was immediately sent to court and told to denounce his Christianity.

But St. Victor refused to denounce his Christian faith before the court of the Roman prefect Sebastiano. Furious, Sebastiano ordered the other soldiers to remove his eyes and subject him to heinous torture.

St. Corona is the Patron Saint of Pandemics
Image credits: Religion News / Creative Commons

Seeing the public suffering of St. Victor, St. Corona rushed to his side to comfort him. This angered the authorities. They captured the 16-year-old woman. Her arms were reportedly tied to two bending palm trees whose trunks were later released, tearing her body apart.

It was in 1,000 A.D. St. Corona’s relics were brought to Aachen, Germany.

How did coronavirus get its name?

The coronavirus is named for the crown-like spikes on its surface. There are several types of coronaviruses; they can infect people and animals.

How did coronavirus get its name

The name “coronavirus” was derived from Latin term “corona” which means “crown” or “wreath”, describing the virus’ characteristic appearance under an electron microscopy.

— Joy Adalia, The Summit Express

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