One of the parenting books I wrote with Margaret Sagarese was The Patience of a Saint: How Faith Can Sustain You During Tough Times in Parenting (Broadway Books). It was later republished by Loyola Press with the title Good Parents, Tough Times: How Your Catholic Faith Provides Hope and Guidance in Times of Crisis. Both attempted to give beleaguered parents an outlet to help console and inspire them when dealing with an adolescent going through a rough patch, whether addiction, bullying, depression, anxiety, or failure in school. As practicing Catholics, Margaret and I often turned to the saints in our own lives, finding that these once ordinary individuals offered lessons that were remarkably current, despite the fact that most of them lived long ago in places far away.
Once we began our research, Margaret and I discovered that there truly is a saint that can be appealed to no matter the problem. So it’s not surprising that there is a whole legion of saints that we might call upon to help us during this dangerous pandemic.
Catholic websites like Aleteia have already focused on several of these saints including the most obvious one, St. Corona. As happens with so many of the saints, some of the facts about them remain sketchy since they lived long ago and many of the details of their lives, including how they became martyred, have been handed down, embellished, or rewritten. At times it takes, yes, a leap of faith to believe. Often, there is enough information available to fill in the background of the saint we choose to pray to.
St. Corona, according to what is available online, was only 16 when she died giving comfort to a Roman soldier, Vincent, who was being persecuted and tortured because he was a Christian. Apparently Vincent was whipped so brutally that his skin was literally hanging from his body. Corona, who had hidden the fact that she was a Christian from her husband, stepped forward to comfort that man, who later became a saint himself. The judge, Sebastian, who despised Christians, had Corona thrown in prison and tortured. Later she was tied to the tops of two palm trees that had been pulled to the ground and then let go, tearing her apart.
While St. Vincent and St. Corona are believed to have been killed in what is today Syria, their relics lie in a basilica in Anzu, in northern Italy, an area that has been particularly hard hit by the coronavirus, a resting place that now seems prophetic.
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