Sunday 31st May 2020

Home » Featured Today » Currently Reading:

Some Saints And Sacramentals For Coronavirus

April 1, 2020 Featured Today No Comments



As the threat from the Coronavirus grows, naturally we can tend to get worried and somewhat anxious — but we should remember that people have faced similar and even worse threats throughout history. And we should also remember that as members of the Church we can call upon the aid of those saints who are particularly associated with the care of the sick and with epidemics, and also utilize those sacramentals associated with relief from sickness which have been approved by the Church.
As was noted in a previous article, when, in 1854, Turin was hit by an outbreak of cholera, St. John Bosco told his pupils that if they prayed, avoided sin, and wore a blessed Marian medal, they would be safe from the disease. Ultimately, forty of his boys actually helped to nurse cholera victims and yet not one of them was infected.
So the wearing of a sacramental such as blessed miraculous medal, or a blessed medal of “Mary Help of Christians,” the devotion particularly recommended by Don Bosco, is certainly a practice to be strongly advised during the present coronavirus outbreak.
Another Marian sacramental associated with the sick and healing is the Green Scapular. This was revealed by our Lady in Paris in the same religious house at the Rue du Bac where she had appeared to St. Catherine Labouré in 1830. This time, on September 8, 1840, our Lady’s birthday, the Blessed Virgin appeared to a novice called Justine Bisqueyburu.
In one hand she held her Immaculate Heart pierced with a sword and surrounded with flames, and in the other, a scapular of green cloth. On one side of this there was a representation of our Lady, and on the reverse an image of a heart all burning with rays more brilliant than the sun and as transparent as crystal; this heart, surmounted by a cross, was pierced with a sword, and around it were the words: “Immaculate Heart of Mary, pray for us now and at the hour of our death.” Official approval for this new green scapular came in 1846.
The particular promises associated with this scapular, with its focus on devotion to our Lady’s Immaculate Heart, include favors relating to physical health, peace of mind, and spiritual conversion. Unlike the Brown Scapular there is no need to be enrolled in order to wear the Green Scapular — a blessing by a priest suffices, along with the daily recital of the prayer, “Immaculate Heart of Mary, pray for us now and at the hour of our death.”
So clearly, during the present uncertainly created by the Coronavirus the wearing of the Green scapular will help to promote peace of mind and encourage faith in the protection of the Blessed Virgin.
As regards healing, the most famous nineteenth-century Marian apparitions, those at Lourdes in France, in 1858, are intimately connected with the healing waters which the Blessed Virgin revealed to St. Bernadette. On February 25 of that year, she had been instructed by our Lady to “Go and drink at the spring and wash yourself in it.”
To the puzzlement of the onlookers, she scratched at the ground and then drank some dirty water she found there. This was the origin of the miraculous spring at Lourdes which has been connected with so many wonderful healings.
So Lourdes water, if available, is another recommended sacramental, and the same can be said for water associated with other Marian shrines and places of healing.
And indeed for centuries our Lady has been regarded as a loving Mother to whom the sick can turn with confidence, and this is reflected in the title used of her in the Litany of Loreto, that is “Health of the sick.”
We should also realize that throughout Christian history, there has been no shortage of saints and holy people to whom the faithful have turned to in times of plague and sickness.
St. Antony the Great, who is regarded as the father of monasticism, became well known in the fourth century after St. Athanasius wrote his biography. He went out into the wilderness of the Egyptian desert to live a solitary life, was renowned for his holiness, and is reputed to have lived to be over a hundred years of age. He was regarded as a patron to whom believers could turn in cases of infectious diseases, and particularly skin diseases.
St. Roch or Rocco, who flourished in the early fourteenth century was a saint who was particularly invoked against the effects of the plague. This was because, after giving away all his possessions he journeyed to Rome as a pilgrim, begging as he went. His arrival coincided with an outbreak of the plague, and he ministered to those affected by this and is said to have cured many through prayer and the Sign of the Cross.
The Fourteen Holy Helpers were a group of saints who became popular at the time of the Black Death in the mid-fourteenth century, initially in the Rhineland in Germany. They were invoked against various diseases, the plague in particular, but also for more minor illnesses and against a sudden and unprovided death. This grouping including St. Blaise and St. Christopher.
St. Henry Morse, SJ, labored as a priest in England at a time of persecution for Catholics, in the first half of the seventeenth century. He is a wonderful example of Christian courage in the face of several outbreaks of the plague. Such was his zeal that he contracted it no less than three times while ministering to beleaguered Catholics. He recovered but was eventually executed at Tyburn in London in 1645.
St. Charles Borromeo, the great post-Reformation cardinal of Milan, also gave a wonderful example of care for victims of the plague when this broke out in the city in 1576. He was away at the time, but his return inspired confidence in the citizens. He personally visited people in their plague-stricken houses and also the worst cases in the hospital of St. Gregory.
His conviction was that the plague had been sent by God as a chastisement for the sins of the people, and in order to do penance for them he took part in a procession walking barefoot with a relic of the Passion in his hand.

Live Godly Lives

More recently, in June 1867, Don Bosco, while speaking to his pupils at one of his celebrated “Good Night” talks, said the following:
“I must again tell you that cholera has broken out in the Venetian provinces and has spread to Bergamo and Milan….It is more fatal than previous epidemics. Very few have survived. Do you want to be spared? Let us rid ourselves of sin and do our utmost never to sin again. The cholera will then keep away from us. Sin brings cholera and death.”
Here the saint pinpointed the ultimate cause of sickness and death — that is sin. The coronavirus may not be as deadly as cholera formerly was, but its ultimate origin is the same — human sinfulness. In the present crisis, we would do well to entrust ourselves to the protection of our Lady and the saints, and do our best to live more God-centered lives.

+ + +

(Donal Anthony Foley is the author of a number of books on Marian Apparitions, and maintains a related website at He has also written two time-travel/adventure books for young people, and the third in the series is due to be published next year — details can be seen at:

Share Button

2019 The Wanderer Printing Co.

Twitter Feed


Supreme Court rules 5-4 AGAINST a California church that challenged Gavin Newsom’s unconstitutional public gathering restrictions

Why is it “legal” to burn our cities but officially illegal to go to church in CA?

John Roberts disappoints again

What a disgrace.


Minneapolis Mayor Frey, the poster boy of liberal progressive Democrat leadership literally gave one of his police stations to the looters last night.

Load More...

US bishop reverses plan to ban Communion on tongue as churches reopen

LAFAYETTE, Louisiana, May 15, 2020 (LifeSiteNews) – Bishop Douglas Deshotel has revised his decision to allow only reception of the Eucharist in the hand amid the coronavirus pandemic. He credited guidelines issued by the Thomistic Institute for correcting his previous…Continue Reading

Sainthood causes open for St John Paul II’s parents

A ceremony launching the causes of the Wojtyłas took place at the Basilica of the Presentation of the Blessed Virgin Mary in Wadowice, John Paul II’s birthplace. At the ceremony, the Kraków Archdiocese officially formed the tribunals that will seek…Continue Reading

President Trump on National Day of Prayer: “Never Forget That All Things are Possible With God”

On this National Day of Prayer, Americans reaffirm that prayer guides and strengthens our Nation, and we express, with humility and gratitude, our “firm reliance on the protection of divine Providence.”  As one Nation under God, we share a legacy…Continue Reading

Coronavirus In Minnesota: Archbishop Hebda Gives Guidelines For Reopening Catholic Churches

MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) — Archbishop Bernard Hebda, head of the Archdiocese of St. Paul and Minneapolis, says he anticipates reopening churches on May 18, which is when the state’s current stay-at-home order expires. In a letter to Catholics, he outlined strict guidelines…Continue Reading

Joe Biden Calls Killing Babies in Abortions “Essential Health Care That Cannot be Delayed”

Today, presumed Democratic presidential nominee and former Vice President Joe Biden stated that abortions are “essential health care that cannot be delayed” during the COVID-19 pandemic. Biden’s statement was in response to a question during a virtual town hall in which pro-abortion…Continue Reading

Archbishop Viganò: Third Secret of Fatima has not yet been fully published

April 22, 2020 (LifeSiteNews) – In a stunning new interview, Archbishop Carlo Maria Viganò, the former papal nuncio in Washington, D.C. and the prelate who accused Pope Francis of covering up the crimes of Theodore McCarrick, has now publicly stated…Continue Reading

George Pell: In the suffering, we find redemption

Every person suffers. None escapes all the time. Everyone is confronted with a couple of questions. What should I do in this situation? Why is there so much evil and suffering? And why did this happen to me? Why the…Continue Reading

Covid-19: First Catholic bishop dies of coronavirus

Ethiopia’s Apostolic Vicar, Bishop Angelo Moreschi, has died. He is the first Catholic Bishop to succumb to the coronavirus pandemic. By Fr. Benedict Mayaki, SJ Italian missionary and Apostolic Vicar to Ethiopia’s Gambella Vicariate, Bishop Angelo Moreschi, SDB, died on…Continue Reading

Catholic church offers curbside confessions during coronavirus outbreak

STILLWATER, Minn. — Drive-thrus, curbside pick-up, contactless methods. We’re becoming best buds with terms like these as we try our best to stay home, and flatten the curve of the coronavirus outbreak. However, today, we’re not talking about food or…Continue Reading

All priests, half of seminarians at traditional Catholic order infected by coronavirus

OPFENBACH, Germany, March 20, 2020 (LifeSiteNews) – Almost all priests and roughly half of the seminarians currently at a German seminary of the Priestly Fraternity of St. Peter (FSSP), a traditionalist community of priests and seminarians, have been infected by…Continue Reading

Catholic Herald US to shut down offices

The Catholic Herald’s U.S. edition is shutting down its offices in Washington, D.C., after less than two years of publication, people familiar with the matter told the Washington Examiner. The magazine, which claims to be “America’s only national Catholic weekly…Continue Reading

Middle school hangs LGBT flag in cafeteria, bans flag of traditional family

MINNEAPOLIS, Minnesota, March 6, 2020 (LifeSiteNews) – A small town Minnesota school has become a center of controversy because of a LGBT pride flag hanging in its cafeteria. Following several weeks of parental and community concern, packed school board meetings, and…Continue Reading

Untitled 5 Untitled 2

Attention Readers:

  Welcome to our website. Readers who are familiar with The Wanderer know we have been providing Catholic news and orthodox commentary for 150 years in our weekly print edition.

  Our daily version offers only some of what we publish weekly in print. To take advantage of everything The Wanderer publishes, we encourage you to su
bscribe to our flagship weekly print edition, which is mailed every Friday or, if you want to view it in its entirety online, you can subscribe to the E-edition, which is a replica of the print edition.
  Our daily edition includes: a selection of material from recent issues of our print edition, news stories updated daily from renowned news sources, access to archives from The Wanderer from the past 10 years, available at a minimum charge (this will be expanded as time goes on). Also: regularly updated features where we go back in time and highlight various columns and news items covered in The Wanderer over the past 150 years. And: a comments section in which your remarks are encouraged, both good and bad, including suggestions.
  We encourage you to become a daily visitor to our site. If you appreciate our site, tell your friends. As Catholics we must band together to rediscover our faith and share it with the world if we are to effectively counter a society whose moral culture seems to have no boundaries and a government whose rapidly extending reach threatens to extinguish the rights of people of faith to practice their religion (witness the HHS mandate). Now more than ever, vehicles like The Wanderer are needed for clarification and guidance on the issues of the day.

Catholic, conservative, orthodox, and loyal to the Magisterium have been this journal’s hallmarks for five generations. God willing, our message will continue well into this century and beyond.

Joseph Matt
President, The Wanderer Printing Co.

Untitled 1

Interview With Cardinal Burke . . . Discriminating Mercy: Defending Christ And His Church With True Love


  By DON FIER (Editor’s Note: His Eminence Raymond Leo Cardinal Burke, Patron of the Sovereign Military Order of Malta and Founder of the Shrine of Our Lady of Guadalupe in La Crosse, Wis., graciously took time out of his busy schedule to grant The Wanderer a wide-ranging interview during a recent visit to the Shrine. Included among the topics…Continue Reading

Developing Lives Of Peace After The Heart Of Mary

By RAYMOND LEO CARDINAL BURKE (Editor’s Note: His Eminence Raymond Leo Cardinal Burke delivered the address below at the 32nd Annual Church Teaches Forum, “The Message of Fatima: Peace for the World,” Galt House, Louisville, Ky., July 22, 2017. The address is reprinted here with the kind permission of Cardinal Burke. All rights reserved. This is part one of the…Continue Reading


Today . . .

Supreme Court rejects challenge to limits on church services; Roberts sides with liberals

WASHINGTON — A divided Supreme Court on Friday rejected an emergency appeal by a California church that challenged state limits on attendance at worship services that have been imposed to contain the spread of the coronavirus. Over the dissent of the four more conservative justices, Chief Justice John Roberts joined the court’s four liberals in turning away a request from the South Bay United Pentecostal Church in Chula Vista, California, in the San Diego area.

Twitter censors Trump hours after he signs executive order combatting social media censorship

UNITED STATES, May 29, 2020  (LifeSiteNews) — Twitter has censored a new post by President Donald Trump within 24 hours of him signing an executive order to combat social media censorship. The social media giant covered a tweet published by Trump earlier today with the words: “This Tweet violated the Twitter Rules about glorifying violence. However, Twitter has determined that it may be in the public’s interest for the Tweet to remain accessible.”

Catholic Bishops Pander To Washington State Politics Rather Than Defend Their Faith

Washington state Catholic leaders would rather stick it to the president than let him defend their right to celebrate Mass. Following President Donald Trump’s direction on Friday for states to allow houses of worship to reopened and to declare public worship as essential, Gov. Jay Inslee immediately thumbed his nose, and Washington bishops quickly follow suit. In a disappointing response, the bishops demonstrated that rather than stand up for their flock and acknowledge the president’s commitment to religious…Continue Reading

Book calling for Catholic blessing of homosexual couples was requested by Austrian bishops’ conference

CNA Staff, May 26, 2020 / 11:02 am MT (CNA).- A book considering how homosexual couples might receive a formal, liturgical blessing of their union in the Catholic Church was written in response to a request from the liturgical committee of the Austrian bishops’ conference, according to the book’s principal author. The work includes contributions by a number of German speaking theologians and a liturgical section, including a suggestion for how such a Church blessing…Continue Reading

Trump announces that houses of worship are ‘essential,’ calls on governors to open them up

President Trump on Friday announced that new Centers for Disease Control guidance will classify houses of worship as “essential,” as he called on governors to allow them to open “right now” after being closed during the coronavirus lockdowns. Trump announced the policy for churches, synagogues and mosques, during a short briefing at the White House. BALTIMORE PASTOR RIPS UP CEASE-AND-DESIST LETTER MID-SERMON: ‘WE’RE GONNA DO IT GOD’S WAY!’ “The governors need to do the right thing and allow…Continue Reading


Does Life Have Any Meaning?

By DONALD DeMARCO W. Somerset Maugham was among the most popular writers of his era and reputedly the highest-paid author during the 1930-40s. His most popular novel, The Razor’s Edge (1944), which was made into a most successful movie two years later, is about the search for meaning. It takes as its theme the Zen…Continue Reading

Jinping Takes Up The U.S. Challenge

By PATRICK J. BUCHANAN Is the U.S. up for a second Cold War — this time with China? What makes the question newly relevant is that Xi Jinping’s China suddenly appears eager for a showdown with the United States for long-term supremacy in the Asia-Pacific and the world. With the U.S. consumed by the coronavirus…Continue Reading

Man Who Smeared Wartime Pope Dies

By RONALD RYCHLAK (Editor’s Note: Ronald Rychlak is a distinguished professor of law at the University of Mississippi Law School. He also serves on the Board of Advisors of the Catholic League, which distributed this article on May 15.) + + + Rolf Hochhuth has passed away in Germany at the age of 89. He…Continue Reading

Pope Francis . . . Merges Two Alaska Dioceses Into New Archdiocese

(CNA) — Pope Francis merged two dioceses in Alaska on May 19, creating the new Archdiocese of Anchorage-Juneau which will cover a territory larger than Montana. The Pope appointed Bishop Andrew E. Bellisario as the metropolitan archbishop of the newly formed archdiocese in southern Alaska. The Diocese of Juneau, located on the Alaska’s southeastern panhandle,…Continue Reading

Does Pelosi Believe A Baby Has A Right To A Mother?

By TERENCE P. JEFFREY (Editor’s Note: Terence P. Jeffrey is the editor in chief of Creators Syndicate distributes his column.) + + + When House Speaker Nancy Pelosi appeared on CNN with Anderson Cooper on Monday, May 18, she started the interview with an effusive statement about Cooper’s “new baby.” “Well, first let me…Continue Reading


Our Catholic Faith (Section B of print edition)

Catholic Replies

Q. You recently wrote about Reiki as something not in accord with Church teachings. What about yoga? — L.S., via email. A. In his book Catholics and the New Age, Fr. Mitch Pacwa said that the word “yoga” is Sanskrit for “yoke” or “union” and, in Hinduism, it describes “the general category of various kinds of disciplines meant to unite…Continue Reading

A Leaven In The World . . . Pandemic Brings Unseen Into View

By FR KEVIN M. CUSICK The Church and her work for souls, unseen and unknown so often by so many in a world which has made God so invisible, has in some ways become more tangible in these months when so much of “normal” life has ground to a halt. Many of our physical activities and concerns, our business and…Continue Reading

Manifest The Gifts Of The Holy Spirit

By FR. ROBERT ALTIER Solemnity Of Pentecost (YR A) Readings: Acts 2:1-11 1 Cor. 12:3b-7, 12-13 John 20:19-23 In the second reading, St. Paul tells us: “There are different kinds of spiritual gifts but the same Spirit; there are different forms of service but the same Lord; there are different workings but the same God.” In these verses, St. Paul…Continue Reading

Catholic Replies

Q. While I’ve read letters in religious publications from prisoners begging for Catholic materials, I have never had any success making contact with Catholic chaplains who might have requests for certain items. I’ve tried both prison and diocesan addresses, and no one responds. Any suggestions? — N.D., Illinois. A. Perhaps readers who are involved in prison ministry can recommend places…Continue Reading

A Leaven In The World… A Pope Francis Primer

By FR. KEVIN M. CUSICK We are immersed in cultural and political wars, with opposing parties engaged in perpetual bickering and posing for effect. On the political front we are faced daily with the spectacle of elected officials who don’t want to work. Instead, they go on the attack and attempt to impeach the reputations of others. False criminal accusations…Continue Reading

Catholic Heroes . . . Blessed Titus Zeman

By DEB PIROCH “Even if I lost my life, I would not consider it wasted, knowing that at least one of those that I helped has become a priest in my place” — Slovak priest, Blessed Titus Zeman. + + + Czech Communists attempted to eliminate the Catholic Church in Czechoslovakia, beginning in 1945, Prime Minister Klement Gottwald working hand-in-hand…Continue Reading

Catholic Heroes . . . St. Louis Marie Grignion De Montfort

By DEB PIROCH During the month of Mary, we turn to St. Louis Marie de Montfort (1673-1716), a saint inseparable in devotion to Christ’s Blessed Mother. His feast falls on the anniversary of his death, April 28, as if he is joyfully pointing us to the Marian month ahead. Many are familiar with Pope St. John Paul’s personal motto, “Totus…Continue Reading