Egyptian Coptic Saint Verena , who introduced medicine and hygiene in Europe

Many Egyptians and Europeans as well do not know Saint Verena, the Egyptian woman who introduced the personal hygiene and medicine in Europe.

She lived in Europe in the 4th century AD. A lot of historians consider her the mother of nuns in Europe.

She died in 344 AD and a church was built above her tomb in Switzerland. There are 30 churches in Germany and 70 in Switzerland hold her name. Her name in Coptic means the “good seed”. Saint Verena came from Garagos near Luxor.

Saint Verena has a very distinctive icon, as she was depicted with a jar in her left hand and comb in the other hand because she taught the Germanic peoples and Gaul the hygiene and treating with herbs.

She succeeded in attracting the pagan Germanic peoples to civilization and theism by love.

The story of Saint Verena dates back to the era of the Roman king Diocletian, who came to Egypt at the end of the 3rd century AD. The Egyptians welcomed him and erected a monument in Alexandria.

At that time, Diocletian’s army entered a destructive war in Gaul lands and he wanted to take the youth of Coptic Egyptians to include them in his army, so he included about 6000 men and called them the Theban Battalion because they came from Thebes, the old pharaonic capital.

The Egyptians showed a great courage in fighting against the enemies until the king has won.

Then, Diocletian ordered the ceremonies to be held, and the incense to be burnt before his statue, as he was the victorious king.

But the Copts of the Theban Battalion refused to worship the king and burn the incense before his statue.

Diocletian became very angry and ordered his soldiers to make the battalion standing in a row, the executioner passed between them, and every 9 soldiers, the tenth was flogged and then his head was cut off.

But the rest became more insistent. The king kept repeating the aforementioned until he decided to kill them all at the end.

Saint Verena was among the women who came with the Theban battalion to make food and treat the injured soldiers.

Although she witnessed the massacre that happened to her companions, she escaped and stayed in Europe, as she lived in one of the caves.

She went out of this cave to the surrounding villages to offer acts of mercy and love for peasants and the poor and was particularly interested in teaching them personal hygiene.

Some historians said that she spent the rest of her life in a cave built for her in Bad Zurzach. Saint Verena was sacrosanct, after her death, the people of Bad Zurzach built a church above her tomb.

The people carved a photo of her on the tomb while holding a jar and comb as an indication of her work.

While walking through one of the cities in Switzerland, Saint Verene noticed that the people did not know the basics of medical instructions and personal hygiene, so she played the role of teacher and physician in the city.

She guided the people of Switzerland the personal hygiene, comb, and bathing. She was widely known as the “owner of the pharaonic comb” because she depended on the pharaonic inheritance concerning the medicine and hygiene.

She also introduced the using of comb among the people in Europe. Saint Verena dedicated her medical experience in treating the ill people.

She taught them the basics of nursing and how to make medicines and drugs from herbs. The Europeans considered her the intercessor of patients because she enabled to treat Leprosy.

Her livelihood did not depend on nursing, as she treated people for free, but she worked in Knitting and sold her products to the people until they knew her and she learned their language.

The Egyptian church said about her:

“She faced the offense with love and blood with scarifying, so the God granted her a curative touch. She was the reason for preaching among the people of Europe.

The love won over the sword, the martyrs’ blood over the arrogance of the king, and the swords of the Caesar have failed, but the jar and comb of Saint Verena have succeeded.”

Read also: Amazing facts about Synagogue of Ben Ezra in Cairo.