– Tej Francis
RELICS OF ST. CORONA WILL BE DISPLAYED IN GERMAN CATHEDRAL, BUT AFTER PANDEMIC
(CNA) A German cathedral will publicly display the relics of St. Corona, an early Christian martyr, once the COVID-19 outbreak has ended in the country.
The Catholic cathedral in the city of Aachen, western Germany, was already planning to display the reliquary of St. Corona before the global COVID-19–also known as the novel coronavirus–pandemic struck. The shrine was to be included in an exhibit on goldwork and gold craftsmanship and has not been able to be viewed by the public for the past 25 years.
The cathedral, commonly known as the Imperial Cathedral because it was used by the Emperor Charlemagne, has housed the relics since the year 997 AD.
A spokeswoman for the cathedral was quoted by Reuters saying that, due to the coincidence of the saint’s name and the subfamily of the virus that has infected thousands of people around the world, she expects there to be “more interest” in viewing the saint’s remains.
“We have brought the shrine out a bit earlier than planned,” said the spokeswoman, Daniela Loevenich.
St. Corona is believed to have been martyred as a 16-year old in the second century, but few details are known about her. Tradition holds that her martyrdom occurred after she, hearing that St. Vincent was being tortured for his Christian faith, confessed her own faith and was subsequently executed. The two saints share a feast day of May 14.
CATHOLIC ENTITIES EXPECT TO RECEIVE AID UNDER EMERGENCY RELIEF BILL
(CNS) Catholic hospitals, parish schools and charitable agencies are among the entities hoping to receive partial relief under a massive $2.2 trillion emergency aid package unanimously approved by Congress in response to the crippling new coronavirus.
They are just not sure when the aid will begin to flow, however. President Donald Trump signed the legislation into law soon after he received it from Congress March 27.
“At this point everyone is trying to figure out what got in and how it’s going to help out,” said Lisa Smith, vice president of advocacy and public policy at the Catholic Health Association of the United States.
Despite such a large expenditure, about half of the federal fiscal year 2020 budget, leaders of Catholic organizations said they expect another package will be needed before the coronavirus runs its course.
The bill includes $180 billion in health care spending, designating $100 billion for hospitals and care providers that are the hardest hit in responding to the coronavirus since the first U.S. case of the illness was confirmed Jan. 20.
The Catholic health care system has taken a large financial hit, Smith told Catholic News Service March 26.
DURING PANDEMIC, PRIESTS WORK TO BRIDGE DISTANCE BETWEEN DECEASED, FAMILY
CNS) When Father Mario Carminati went to bless the remains of one of his parishioners, he called the deceased man’s daughter on WhatsApp so they could pray together.
“One of his daughters is in Turin and couldn’t take part,” he said, the Catholic magazine Famiglia Cristiana reported March 26. “It was very emotional,” as she was able to pray with them through the messaging service, said the parish priest from Seriate, near Bergamo.
Capuchin Father Aquilino Apassiti, an 84-year-old hospital chaplain in Bergamo, said he sets his mobile phone near the deceased so the loved one on the other end can pray with him, the magazine said.
They are some of the many priests and religious trying to bridge the forced distance between those who have died from COVID-19 and the people they leave behind. The Diocese of Bergamo has set up a special service, “A Heart That Listens,” where people can call or email for spiritual, emotional or psychological support from trained professionals.
With funerals forbidden nationwide, these ministers are also offering blessings and a dignified temporary place of rest before the departed’ s ultimate burial.
Official figures from the national civil protection agency have said more than 8,000 people have died in Italy from COVID-19 as of March 26, with spikes in mid-March between 620 and 790 deaths a day.