Corona, a young Syrian girl of 16 years, was married to a Roman soldier around the year 170 AD. She had devoutly practiced her Faith in secrecy until she saw a fellow Christian, Victor, being tortured for his belief in Christ. She rushed to his side, encouraging him, consoling him, and praying for him while he was whipped and his eyes gouged out. Because of her public display, one of the leaders proclaimed Corona must also suffer for her belief in Christ. She was bound to two bent palm trees fastened to the ground. On the leader’s command, the palm trees were released, springing back to their upright position and tearing Corona in half. Her feast day is May 14th.
This world needs more Corona’s, especially in the wake of this COVID-19 pandemic. She saw a man suffering. She also saw discomfort, danger, and … possible death. Yet in the moment when her fellow Christian Victor needed her, she did not YIELD to fear — She CHOSE courage. She CHOSE to affirm to her brother in Christ; to let him know he wasn’t alone. We have all seen many physical manifestations of fear, selfishness, and greed in the past two weeks. And yet we have also seen many individuals courageously surrendering their own safety, comfort, and health to assist the suffering. The COVID-19 virus has been a wake-up call for the world: when faced with a crisis bigger and more ruthless than our powers to abate it, what emotion will dominate our intentions and our actions: fear? Or courage? Will we reach for the 26th roll of toilet paper? Or will we bravely abandon our comforts to serve our neighbor?
Corona… what a WOMAN. She didn’t receive her crown on earth — hers was a heavenly crown. This lenten pandemic is the perfect time for us to reflect, to meditate, to admit our own weaknesses and desire growth in our relationship with God. Maybe our crown is also not of this earth…. Let us pray for total abandonment to God and His Will for our lives.
Saint Corona, patroness of pandemics – Ora Pro Nobis +
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