What are Catholics to do in a time of coronavirus?
If you are on Facebook and your friends are anything like mine, most of the posts in your feed are probably about the coronavirus. Through one such post yesterday, I learned about an aptly named saint for the times we live in: There Is a Saint Corona, And She Is the Patron Saint Against Epidemics.Before going on to links to posts about a few more saintly intercessors, first is a small selection of posts on what else to do in this time of coronavirus:
- Coronavirus Quarantine Reading List: 15 Best Apocalyptic Books to Read Now
- 5 Books to Read If You’re Stuck at Home Thanks to Coronavirus
- Literature in the Time of Covid-19 (by our very own Dappled Things web editor, Jonathan McDonald)
- Stuck at Home? These 12 Famous Museums Offer Virtual Tours You Can Take on Your Couch, including Florence’s Uffizi Gallery—with its incomparable feast of art from Da Vinci, Michelangelo, Raphael, and Botticelli, and that’s just some of the artists whose works are in the Renaissance section!
Early Baroque Medusa Shield by Caravaggio. From the Armory of the Medici, now at the Uffizi
Reading Albert Camus’s The Plague in the Time of the Coronavirus
This post, from the “Korea Blog” at Los Angeles Review of Books, mentions the 1971 Charlton Heston movie, The Omega Man, which was based on the 1954 novel I Am Legend. But—as its title indicates—it is mostly focused on Camus’ famous novel, The Plague (which is also mentioned in the above-referenced reading lists). “Reading The Plague here in South Korea, the second-most coronavirus-afflicted country in the world, one instinctively spots parallels between art and life.”
Pray for Italy
Last Sunday, March 8, Gregory DiPippo reported at New Liturgical Movement that after the Italian government suspended “all civil and religious ceremonies, including funerals” until April 3rd, the Italian Bishops’ Conference suspended all public celebrations of the Mass, not excluding Sundays, and he predicted that other nations will soon follow. “Obviously,” DiPippo continued, “there are innumerable Saints who have intervened in times of plague, but I would recommend that we also ask, on behalf of our bishops, for the intervention of St Charles Borromeo . . .. When Milan was struck by a plague in 1576-77, the city was largely abandoned by the civil authorities, and St Charles was the first not only to aid the afflicted, but also to lead the Church in prayer for deliverance from the plague.” St. Roche is another saint mentioned in a link in DiPippo’s post who is frequently invoked in time of plague.
Just as we must take all reasonable worldly precautions against catching or spreading the coronavirus, prayers for heavenly intercession are only one essential spiritual part of An Authentic Catholic Response to A Public Health Crisis.
And finally, tying the worldly and the spiritual together, let us remember this biblical injunction from the 4th chapter and 8th verse of the Epistle of James.