While made famous in the popular imagination during the COVID-19 or Coronavirus pandemic and regarded as the protectress from plagues, Saint Corona is - with her husband Saint Victor - a martyr. Relics of both saints are preserved at All Saints Shrine at Livonia’s Sacred Heart Byzantine Catholic Church.
Most sources state that Victor and his wife, Saint Corona were killed in Roman Syria during the reign of Marcus Aurelius (between 160s-170s A.D.). While most hagiographical texts place the location of their martyrdom in Syria, Coptic sources believe their martyrdoms were carried out in Antioch. Some Western sources even go so far as to claim Sicily was their place of martyrdom.
While St. Victor was suffering from several forms of physical torture, the Roman executioners hoped to simultaneously increase the anguish of his sixteen-year-old wife, Saint Corona, by forcing her to watch her husband in agony. To the dismay of the torturers, the young wife encouraged Victor to place his confidence in the mercy of God, indicating that she would soon be following him to be with the Lord forever.
According to the “Passio of Corona,” the manner of her execution to the form of having her arms bound between to two bent palm trees. When the restraining ropes bending the trunks of the trees were severed, her arms were torn directly out of their respective sockets. Death from shock followed.