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Bad Zurzach, Switzerland
|Venerated in||Coptic Orthodox Church|
Eastern Orthodox Churches (1 September)
Oriental Orthodox Churches
Roman Catholic Church (1 September)
|Attributes||comb; water jar|
|Patronage||poor; sick; lepers; young girls, nurses, Pieter|
Saint Verena (Coptic: Ϯⲁⲅⲓⲁ Ⲃⲓⲣⲏⲛⲁ; Thebes, ca. 260 – Zurzach, ca. 320) is venerated by the Coptic Orthodox Church, by the Roman Catholic Church, and by the Eastern Orthodox Church. According to tradition, she was associated with the Theban Legion and died on the 4th day of Thout (September 14).
Travel to Switzerland
The name Verena means "the good fruit". According to tradition, Verena was of a noble Christian family from the village of Garagous, near Luxor. Her parents sent her to Sherimon, Bishop of Beni Suef, to be instructed in the Christian faith, after which he baptized her. She was a relative of Saint Victor (or alternately, Saint Maurice) of the Theban Legion. As soldiers' relatives were allowed to accompany them in order to look after them and take care of their wounds, Verena accompanied the legion on its mission to Rhaetia (part of modern-day Switzerland). Other accounts say Verena traveled to Switzerland in search of her relative.
Verena was still in Milan when word was received that Saint Maurice, Saint Victor and the other members of the Theban Legion, who had proceeded north, were martyred. Verena went to Agaunum to venerate them. First, she led the life of a hermit in a place called Solothurn, from there she went to Koblenz, but later moved into a cave near present-day Zurich. As a hermit, Verena fasted and prayed continuously. Several miracles were attributed to her intercession. Verena was a spiritual counselor for young girls and due to her expertise as a nurse used to look after their physical health.
As a result of her fame, legend states that the local governor arrested her and sent her to jail, where Saint Maurice appeared to her to console and strengthen her. After she was released from jail, she continued her good works.
Due to her, many converted to Christianity. Saint Verena fed the poor and nursed the sick, especially those suffering from leprosy. She used to wash their wounds and put ointments on them, not fearing infection. She died in Switzerland in 344.
Return of part of relics to Egypt
In October 2004, a delegation from the Diocese of Los Angeles in the United States of America, along with Bishop Serapion of Los Angeles, Fr. Joseph Boules and Fr. Gregory Bishay traveled to Switzerland to bring a part of Saint Verena's relics to her churches in Anaheim and Orange. The Anaheim church, now located in Yorba Linda, California,  now has a shrine dedicated to her relic, as well as the church in Orange.
Stäfa Coat of Arms
- "Coptic Saint Verena, the Egyptian who taught Europe personal hygiene, Al Arabiya, 10 April 2017
- "Our Patron: Saint Verena", Santa Verena Charity
- Monks of Ramsgate. “Verena”. Book of Saints, 1921. CatholicSaints.Info. 1 September 2016
- Borrelli, Antonio. "Santa Verena di Zurzach", Santi e Beati, November 20, 2002
- "Verena Minster", Switzerland Tourism
- Saint Mary & Saint Verena Coptic Orthodox Church, Yorba Linda, CA
- Saint Verena and the Three Holy Youth Coptic Orthodox Church, Orange, CA
|Wikimedia Commons has media related to Saint Verena.|