Yes, there's a Saint Corona... and she happens to be a patron saint of pandemics!
According to one legend of her life, she witnessed the torture and martyrdom of St Victor, and ran over to comfort and pray for him – thus condemning herself to death as well. This took place in about 170AD, and their relics have been housed since the 9th century in Anzu, Italy. The relics were tested twice in the last century, which confirmed that the remains were of a male and female, and corresponded with the likely date and location of the executions. The reason for her association with pandemics is unclear, but is a particularly strong devotion in Austria & Bavaria. Her name has nothing to do with viruses, but just shares the Latin root word, corona, meaning crown: the coronavirus was so named because of the shape of the pathogen; the saint, because of the crown of martyrdom which she now wears in Heaven – where doubtless she is interceding for us now.
St Corona’s feast day is next week, on the 14th of May – just time for a novena!
Episode 3 of Letters from Lockdown: A guide to Philippians is now online! This week Joseph Meigh and Stuart Ford are looking at Phil 2.12-25.

A surprising amount falls out of some lesser-known passages of the epistle - and be sure to listen in to Stuart's very inspiring reflection on our current situation, at the end of the video.

You can also catch up on Episode 1 and Episode 2.
Pope Francis has sent out a letter encouraging all Catholics to come together and pray the rosary throughout May 2020 and ‘to rediscover the beauty of praying the rosary at home.’ It is (uncharacteristically) very succinct, so do take a moment to read it!
Read Pope Francis’ letter
He has also given us two new prayers that implore the help of the Virgin Mary during the coronavirus pandemic.

O Mary,
You shine continuously on our journey
as a sign of salvation and hope.
We entrust ourselves to you, Health of the Sick,
who, at the foot of the cross,
were united with Jesus’ suffering,
and persevered in your faith.

“Protectress of the Roman people”,
you know our needs,
and we know that you will provide,
so that, as at Cana in Galilee,
joy and celebration may return
after this time of trial.

Help us, Mother of Divine Love,
to conform ourselves to the will of the Father
and to do what Jesus tells us.
For he took upon himself our suffering,
and burdened himself with our sorrows
to bring us, through the cross,
to the joy of the Resurrection.


With our prayers,
Canon Tom Gunning (Parish Priest)
and Joseph Meigh (seminarian)
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