Saint Corona

Published on 22 Apr 2020
Bronze embossed reliquary

You might have heard recently that there's a Saint Corona. Dries van den Akker SJ tells us more...

Is it a pure coincidence? The treasury of the cathedral in Aachen is preparing an exhibition about craftmanship. One of the pieces they are restoring is a reliquary of Saint Corona in gold and bronze. Corona’s relics came to Aachen in 997, when the emperor Otto III ordered to transfer them from the Italian city of Otricoli. Since that time the veneration of St Corona has spread over Europe. In the 14th century the Emperor Charles iv transferred some relics to Prague. In the 12th century the French city of Dijon pretended to have the skulls of both martyrs but they perished during the French Revolution.

Reliquary of St Corona


According to the legend, Saint Corona suffered martyrdom together with a certain Victor during the persecutions of Christians, some say in 177 under emperor Antoninus Pius, others suppose that it was in the beginning of the 4th century under Diocletian. There is uncertainty about the place as well: some mention Damascas in Syria, others Alexandria in Egypt. Victor was arrested and tortured for being a Christian. From the crowd of spectators Corona, a 16 year old wife of a soldier, shouted that Victor was a lucky man because of his constancy. ‘I see descending from heaven two crowns: one for Victor and one for myself.’ She was arrested and bound between two palm trees bent down to the ground. By untying the trees, Corona was torn apart. Victor was beheaded.


Corona is the Latin version of Stephanida, which means ‘crown’. She is the patron saint for constancy in faith and endurance in painful situations. How necessary for the current epidemic. She is, also, the patron saint of butchers, maybe because of her tortures; others suppose that it is because the people understood her name as ‘carona’ which is associated with ‘caro’ = flesh. Her prayerful intercession is said to bring fortune, probably because of her name: “winning the crown”, and so she is, also, the patron saint for financial matters.

Her feast day is 14th May and in the Eastern Rite Catholic Churches it is 11th November.


Of course the virus is not called after the saint. It is, rather, that under the microscope, the virus looks like the shape of a crown.

Sources: [Stritzky, Maria-Barbara von & Schmidt, Leopold & Beitl, Klaus in: Lexikon der Heiligen und der Heiligenverehrung, Freiburg, 2003 col.330/32. WIMMER, Otto & MELZER, Hartmann ‘Lexikon der Namen und Heiligen. Bearbeitet und ergänzt von Josef Gelmi. Hamburg, Nikol Verlagsgesellschaft, 2002 p.200;Ramseger in: Lexicon der Christliche Ikonographie, Freiburg, 1990 Vol.7 kol.342/43. GUÉRIN, Mgr. Paul 'Petits Bollandistes. Vies des Saints de l'Ancien en du Nouveau Testament, des Martyrs, des Pères, des Auteurs sacrés et ecclésiastiques des vénéables et autres personnes mortes en odeur de sainteté...' etc. Paris, Bloud & Barral, Vol.V pp.537/38. I took the pictues of a website of Stijn Dangreau: do 26 march  17:35h.]

St Corona pray for us.                                                                                          

   Fr Dries van den Akker SJ