Orthodox Icon Saint Verena of Zurzach

Saint Verena of Zurzach

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High quality color print ~ 8 x 10 inches mounted on wood.

St. Verena was brought up in the 3rd century in the Thebain region of Upper Egypt in a noble Christian family in the village of Garagous, near modern day 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 of the Theban Legion and as soldiers' relatives were allowed to accompany them in order to look after them and take care of their wounds, St. Verena accompanied the legion on its mission to Rhaetia (part of modern-day Switzerland). 

Verena was still in Milan when word was received that her relative, Saint Victor and the other members of the Theban Legion, who had proceeded north, were martyred. St. Verena then went to Agaunum to venerate the newly martyred saints. 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, the local governor arrested her and sent her to jail, where St Maurice appeared to her to console and strengthen her. After she was released from jail, she continued her good works. 

Due to her life of great piety, 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.  

The Verena Minster church was built over the grave of Saint Verena in a Roman cemetery. She is one of the most revered saints in Switzerland and is one of the Patron Saints of Housekeepers.