Yes, there is a St. Corona.

Is she the patron saint of the current pandemic? Depends on who you ask.

Corona was a Christian martyr, probably 16 years old when she was killed by Romans about 1,800 years ago. One source said she was killed in Syria for expressing her beliefs.

Legend holds she was tied between bent palm trees and torn as the released trunks snapped upright. The veracity of that story and others are uncertain.

But is she the patron saint of pandemics? says no. But a cathedral in Aachen, Germany, which houses Corona’s relics, says a German tradition has long invoked St. Corona for protection against plagues.

And an artist recently told Rhode Island Catholic that her research shows that New Mexico “pilgrim cattle farmers would invoke St. Corona to protect their herds from disease.”

Of course, Corona’s name has renewed interest in the long-forgotten saint and many are praying to her for help from the current pandemic.

Corona’s feast day is May 14.

Other saints also are believed to offer help against disease.

St. Marianne Cope (1838-1918) was a Franciscan who worked with leprosy patients in Hawaii. She insisted that doctors and others working with the patients wash their hands in between patients.

In the 14th century, the Fourteen Holy Helpers were martyrs who were called upon during the Bubonic Plague. Devotion to the 14 started in Germany.

St. Anthony of Egypt is patron of people affected by skin diseases or infectious diseases, and St. Edmund is patron for victims of pandemics, as well as patron of kings.


Facets of Faith runs every other Saturday in Living. Reach Leila Pitchford at