Verena

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Coptic Orthodox Cross
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SaintVerena' is venerated as a saint by the Coptic Orthodox Church and by the Roman Catholic Church. According to tradition, she was associated with the Theban Legion. She is commemorated on fourth day of Thout (September 14).

Life

She was brought up in the Theban region (modern day Luxor in Upper Egypt) in a noble Christian family, who handed her over to Sherimon, Bishop of Bani Suwayf, who in turn taught her and baptized her. St. Verena joined the Theban Legion in its mission to Rhaetia (modern-day Switzerland) and was a relative of St. Victor of the Theban Legion. The soldiers' relatives were allowed to accompany them in order to look after them and take care of their wounds.

After St. Maurice, St. Victor and the other members of the Theban Legion were martyred, St. Verena led a lonely life as a hermit. First, she settled in a place called Solothurn, but later moved into a cave near present-day Zurich. She fasted and prayed continuously. Moreover, God performed several miracles through her. She was particularly concerned about young girls and looked after them spiritually and physically, due to her expertise as a nurse. As a result of her fame, the ruler arrested her and sent her to jail, where St. Maurice appeared to her to console and strengthen her. After her release from jail, she moved into several regions, and God made several miracles through her prayers. Due to her, many converted to Christianity. St. Verena was interested in serving the poor and offered them food. Moreover, she enjoyed serving the sick, especially those suffering from leprosy. She washed their wounds and put ointments on them, without fearing infection. At the time of departure of St. Verena from our world, the Most Holy Virgin Mary appeared to her to console and strengthen her. St. Verena reposed on the fourth day of Thout (September 14).

Dedications

In 1986, a delegation from St. Verena's Church in Switzerland brought to Egypt a part of St. Verena's relics. The first Coptic church consecrated in the name of St. Verena is St. Maurice and St. Verena's Church in Cairo, which was consecrated by HH Pope Shenouda III on February 22, 1994. In October of 2004, a delegation from St. Verena's (Saint Mary & Saint Verena's) Church in Anaheim, California, along with Bp. Serapion of Los Angeles and Fr. Joseph Boules, traveled to Switzerland to bring a part of Saint Verena's relics to Anaheim. Her church in Anaheim now has a museum dedicated to her relics and artifacts.

Sources

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