jeudi 9 février 2012

Sainte APOLLINE (APOLLONIE, APOLLONIA) d'ALEXANDRIE, vierge et martyre




Francisco de Zurbaran. Sainte Apolline. 1636, 113 X 66, Louvre, Paris

Sainte Apolline, vierge et martyre

Saint Denis d'Alexandrie, dans une lettre à son ami Fabien, évêque d'Antioche, raconte comment cette fille d’Alexandrie fut prise par les païens au cours d'une émeute lors de la persécution de Dèce en 249. Elle n'était plus jeune, et c'est pourquoi ils s'amusèrent à l'édenter. Ils lui brisèrent une à une toutes les dents puis la menacèrent de la jeter vivante dans le bûcher qu'ils venaient d'allumer si elle ne reniait pas sa foi. 

Brûlée par le feu de l'amour du Christ, elle s'excusa auprès d'eux de ne pouvoir le renier, puis elle s'élança d'elle-même dans les flammes.



Sainte Apolline

Martyre à Alexandrie ( 249)

ou Apollonie.

Vierge et martyre à Alexandrie en Égypte lors d'un moment où l'empereur Dèce, sans organiser une véritable persécution, laissait les païens donner la chasse aux chrétiens et les tuer comme ils voulaient, sans qu'ils soient punis pour ces meurtres. 

Saint Denis d'Alexandrie, dans une lettre à son ami Fabien, évêque d'Antioche, raconte comment elle fut prise par les païens au cours d'une émeute. Elle n'était plus jeune, et c'est pourquoi ils s'amusèrent à l'édenter. Ils lui brisèrent une à une toutes les dents puis la menacèrent de la jeter vivante dans le bûcher qu'ils venaient d'allumer si elle ne reniait pas sa foi. 

Brûlée par le feu de l'amour du Christ, elle s'excusa auprès d'eux de ne pouvoir le renier, puis elle s'élança d'elle-même dans les flammes. 

Apolline (... 249 ?) Vierge diaconesse d'Alexandrie, martyrisée sous Dèce. En raison de son historicité douteuse, le culte de cette sainte est limité aux usages locaux depuis 1970. (diocèse de Poitiers - quelques saints du Poitou et d'ailleurs)

Elle est représentée sur un timbre autrichien émis le 11 octobre 1982 pour le 70e congrès mondial des dentistes. Sur ce timbre, on la voit tenant une dent extraite et lisant un livre. Apolline - les timbres et les légendes

Un internaute nous signale: "Près de Fribourg (Suisse) existe une chapelle mentionnée pour la première fois en 1147 dédiée à Ste Apolline. Cette petite chapelle se trouve à côté d'un pont datant du XVIe siècle, le pont de Ste Apolline sur le territoire de la commune de Villars-sur-Glâne. Ce magnifique témoin de l'architecture vernaculaire est composé essentiellement de tuf. Il se situait sur un important axe de circulation au Moyen-Age, note l'archéologue Jean-Pierre Dewarrat. Aujourd'hui il est interdit de circulation, mais il est emprunté par des centaines de pélerins de Compostelle. Il est peu courant de trouver une petite chapelle à côté d'un pont. De nombreuses dents cariées ont été trouvées dans le périmètre prouvant que Ste Apolline, vierge et martyre du IIIe siècle, était très aimée."

Commémoraison de sainte Apolline, vierge et martyre à Alexandrie. Au témoignage de l’évêque saint Denis, la dernière année de l’empereur Philippe, en 249, dans une émeute, les païens se saisirent d’elle, lui firent tomber toutes les dents en lui frappant les mâchoires, puis menacèrent de la jeter vivante dans un bûcher si elle ne prononçait pas avec eux des formules impies. Elle délibéra un moment en elle-même, puis, offrant sa vie en sacrifice, elle s’élança dans le feu, plus prompte à affronter la mort que ses persécuteurs à préparer le supplice.

Martyrologe romain




Sainte APOLLINE

A Alexandrie, déposition de Ste Apolline, en 249. Fête au XIIIe siècle.

Leçon des Matines avant 1960

Neuvième leçon. Apolline, vierge d’Alexandrie, était déjà fort avancée en âge, lorsque, sous l’empereur Dèce, on la conduisit devant les idoles, pour qu’elle leur donnât des marques de vénération. Elle les méprisa et déclara hautement qu’il fallait adorer le Dieu véritable, Jésus-Christ. C’est pourquoi on lui brisa et on lui arracha les dents, et des bourreaux impies, ayant allumé un bûcher, la menacèrent de la brûler vive, si elle ne détestait le Christ, et n’adorait les dieux. Elle leur répondit qu’elle était prête à subir n’importe quel genre de mort pour la foi de Jésus-Christ. Étant donc saisie pour être livrée au feu, Apolline s’arrêta un moment comme pour délibérer sur ce qu’elle avait à faire, puis s’échappa des mains qui la retenaient et se jeta allègrement dans le brasier qui lui était préparé, et dont les flammes étaient moins ardentes que celles que l’Esprit-Saint avait allumées dans son cœur. Son corps fut bientôt consumé, et son âme très pure s’envola au ciel pour y recevoir la couronne du martyre.



Dom Guéranger, l’Année Liturgique

L’Église d’Alexandrie offre aujourd’hui à nos hommages la célèbre vierge Apolline. Cette martyre du Christ, révérée par toute la terre, vient se joindre à ses sœurs Agathe et Dorothée, pour ranimer le courage dans nos cœurs. La vie présente ne fut rien à ses yeux. Conduite par l’Esprit-Saint, on la vit s’élancer sur le bûcher, sans attendre que la main des bourreaux l’y précipitât. De nos jours, il n’est pas rare que des hommes las de la vie, ou compromis avec leur orgueil, se jettent dans la mort pour se soustraire à des devoirs ; Apolline court au brasier, témoignant ainsi son horreur pour le plus grand des’ crimes. Plus d’une fois, l’Esprit divin, au temps des persécutions, suggéra la môme conduite à d’autres vierges sacrées qui craignaient pour leur foi ou pour leur honneur. Ces exemples sont rares néanmoins ; mais ils prouvent à leur manière que Dieu est maître de notre vie, et que nous devons être disposés à la lui rendre quand il lui plaît.

Une circonstance du martyre de sainte Apolline a frappé l’attention des fidèles. Pour punir la liberté avec laquelle elle annonçait Jésus-Christ, la fureur des bourreaux alla jusqu’à briser les dents de la sainte dans sa bouche inspirée. Une pieuse confiance, souvent récompensée, a porté les chrétiens à implorer sainte Apolline pour obtenir du soulagement dans ces cruelles douleurs qui ont les dents pour siège ou pour occasion. C’est ainsi que le Seigneur a voulu qu’il nous fût donné de compter sur la protection de ses saints, non seulement dans les besoins de nos âmes, mais encore dans les nécessités de nos corps.

Quelle ardeur est la vôtre, ô Apolline ! La flamme du bûcher, loin de vous effrayer, vous attire, et vous y courez comme à un lieu de délices. En face du péché, la mort vous semble douce ; et vous n’attendez pas que la main barbare des hommes vous y précipite. Ce courage étonne notre faiblesse ; et cependant le brasier que vous avez préféré à l’apostasie, et qui, dans peu d’instants, devait vous enfanter à un bonheur sans fin, n’est rien auprès de ces feux éternels que le pécheur brave à toute heure, parce qu’il ne les sent pas encore. Il ose défier ces flammes vengeresses, s’y exposer, pour une satisfaction passagère. Avec cela, les mondains se scandalisent des saints ; ils les trouvent exagérés, emportés, fanatiques, parce que les saints voient plus loin qu’ils ne voient eux-mêmes. Réveillez en nous, ô Apolline, la crainte du péché qui dévore éternellement ceux qui meurent avec lui. Si le bûcher qui fut pour vous comme un lit de repos nous semble affreux, que l’horreur de la souffrance et de la destruction serve du moins à nous éloigner du mal qui entraîne les hommes dans cet abîme, du fond duquel, comme parle saint Jean, la fumée de leurs tourments monte dans les siècles des siècles [1]. Ayez pitié de nous, ô Vierge ! Priez pour les pécheurs. Ouvrez-leur les yeux sur les périls qui les menacent. Faites-nous craindre Dieu, afin que nous puissions éviter ses justices, et que nous commencions enfin à l’aimer.

[1] Apoc. XIV, 11.


Bhx Cardinal Schuster, Liber Sacramentorum

C’est saint Denys le Grand lui-même qui, dans une lettre à Fabius d’Antioche, nous décrit le martyre de cette courageuse vierge d’Alexandrie. Sa mémoire est entrée dars le Missel Romain vers la fin du moyen âge, et le fait que dans son martyre le bourreau lui arracha les dents, contribua beaucoup à la diffusion de son culte, à titre de protectrice contre les maux de dents.

A Rome, près de la basilique de Sainte-Marie au Transtevere, s’élevait une antique église dédiée à sainte Apollonie, avec un petit cimetière contigu ; elle est maintenant détruite, et il ne reste que son nom, donné à une place de ce quartier. Grâce précisément à ce temple, sainte Apollonie a acquis droit de cité dans le calendrier romain.

La messe est celle du Commun des vierges martyres, Loquébar.


Dom Pius Parsch, le Guide dans l’année liturgique

Sainte Apolline. — Le martyrologe relate : « A Alexandrie, la mort de la sainte vierge Apolline. On lui avait d’abord, sous l’empereur Dèce (249-251), brisé toutes les dents. Ensuite les persécuteurs dressèrent un grand bûcher et y mirent le feu, ils menacèrent alors la sainte de l’y brûler vive si elle ne voulait pas répéter une formule blasphématoire. Après quelques instants de réflexion, la sainte s’arracha soudain des mains des persécuteurs et se jeta dans les flammes ardentes. Le feu du Saint-Esprit qui la brûlait était plus ardent que les flammes du bûcher. Les cruels bourreaux furent eux-mêmes vivement impressionnés de voir une faible femme aller, avec une telle décision, volontairement à la mort, avant qu’ils aient pu exécuter leur menace. » La sainte était déjà âgée. Le récit de son martyre a pour auteur l’évêque Denys d’Alexandrie qui vivait à son époque (+265). On invoque sainte Apolline contre les maux de dents.

Apolline a commis à proprement parler un suicide. Son exemple était déjà allégué par les anciens pour prouver qu’il est permis d’échapper à la persécution ou au déshonneur par la mort volontaire. Cependant les moralistes les plus notoires déclarèrent que, même dans ce cas, le suicide était illicite et essayèrent de justifier les actes héroïques de ce genre accomplis par des saints, en supposant qu’ils avaient agi sous une inspiration divine et ajoutèrent que, s’il n’y avait pas eu d’ordre de Dieu, on ne devait pas imiter ces exemples. Tous les actes des saints ne sont pas à imiter.

SOURCE : http://www.introibo.fr/09-02-Ste-Apolline-vierge-et



SAINTE APOLLINE ou APOLLONIE

Vierge et Martyre

(249)

Sainte Apolline ou Apollonie était d'Alexandrie; au milieu de la corruption générale, elle y passait pour un modèle de vertu et de modestie chrétienne. Cette héroïque jeune fille ne se contenta pas de consacrer au Seigneur ses premières années, sa jeunesse et son existence entière, elle voulut encore lui offrir le sacrifice de sa vie.

L'an 248, une persécution sanglante éclata dans la cité; la fureur des païens contre les chrétiens ne connut point de bornes. On pilla les maisons et on exerça contre les personnes les plus horribles violences. Apolline, déjà avancée en âge, loin de prendre la fuite, demeura toujours à Alexandrie, sans craindre la perte de ses biens ni de sa vie, heureuse, au contraire, d'attendre l'occasion de couronner ses vertus par un glorieux martyre.

Un jour, elle fut arrêtée; les bourreaux se jetèrent sur elle, la frappèrent si rudement avec des cailloux, qu'ils lui rompirent les mâchoires et lui brisèrent les dents; puis, l'ayant entraînée hors de la ville, ils allumèrent un grand feu, résolus de l'y jeter, si elle ne renonçait pas à Jésus-Christ. La Sainte demanda quelques moments comme pour réfléchir à ce qu'elle devait faire.

Les païens espérèrent un instant qu'elle allait reculer devant l'horrible supplice du feu. Mais Apolline, profitant de cet instant de liberté, s'échappa de leurs mains, et poussée par l'ardeur de l'amour divin qui embrasait son coeur, elle s'élança elle-même impétueusement dans le feu, au grand étonnement de ses bourreaux stupéfaits de voir une fille plus hardie et plus prompte à souffrir la mort qu'eux-mêmes à la lui faire endurer.

Son corps, comme un holocauste pur et sans tache, fut bientôt dévoré par les flammes, et son âme généreuse et pure s'envola dans les Cieux, l'an 249 de Notre-Seigneur, le 9 février. L'exemple étonnant de sainte Apolline serait répréhensible si elle avait obéi à la précipitation de la nature; mais l'Église, en l'admettant au nombre des martyrs, nous oblige à croire qu'elle obéit à l'impulsion de l'Esprit divin. Sainte Apolline a toujours été regardée par la dévotion populaire comme secourable contre le mal de dents, sans doute à cause du premier supplice qu'elle avait enduré.

Le courage de cette vierge, courant elle-même au-devant des supplices, n'est-il pas une éclatante condamnation de notre lâcheté au service de Dieu?

Abbé L. Jaud, Vie des Saints pour tous les jours de l'année, Tours, Mame, 1950.

SOURCE : http://magnificat.ca/cal/fr/saints/sainte_apolline_ou_apollonie.html


Jean Fouquet. Martyre de sainte Apolline. 
Heures d'Étienne Chevalier. XIVe.

9 février. Sainte Apolline, ou Apollonie, 

vierge et martyre. 

249.
Pape : Saint Fabien
Empereur romain : Gordien III.

" La raison et la foi s'accordent à nous faire penser que les saints qui ont plus particulièrement souffert en quelque partie de leur corps ont aussi une compassion particulière pour ceux qui souffrent de la même manière."
Sainte Apolline ou Apollonie était d'Alexandrie ; au milieu de la corruption générale, elle y passait pour un modèle de vertu et de modestie chrétienne. Cette héroïque jeune fille ne se contenta pas de consacrer au Seigneur ses premières années, sa jeunesse et son existence entière, elle voulut encore lui offrir le sacrifice de sa vie.

L'an 248, sous l'empereur Dèce, une persécution sanglante éclata dans la cité à l'instigation d'un magicien qui détestait les chrétiens et qui attisa de toute son influence la fureur des païens. Cette fureur contre les chrétiens ne connut point de bornes. On pilla les maisons et on exerça contre les personnes les plus horribles violences. Apolline, déjà avancée en âge, loin de prendre la fuite, demeura toujours à Alexandrie, sans craindre la perte de ses biens ni de sa vie, heureuse, au contraire, d'attendre l'occasion de couronner ses vertus par un glorieux martyre.
Un jour, elle fut arrêtée ; les bourreaux se jetèrent sur elle, la frappèrent si rudement avec des cailloux, qu'ils lui rompirent les mâchoires et lui brisèrent les dents ; puis, l'ayant entraînée hors de la ville, ils allumèrent un grand feu, résolus de l'y jeter, si elle ne renonçait pas à Jésus-Christ. La Sainte demanda quelques moments comme pour réfléchir à ce qu'elle devait faire.

Les païens espérèrent un instant qu'elle allait reculer devant l'horrible supplice du feu. Mais Apolline, profitant de cet instant de liberté, s'échappa de leurs mains, et poussée par l'ardeur de l'amour divin qui embrasait son coeur, elle s'élança elle-même impétueusement dans le feu, au grand étonnement de ses bourreaux stupéfaits de voir une fille plus hardie et plus prompte à souffrir la mort qu'eux-mêmes à la lui faire endurer.
Eprouvée déjà par différents supplices, cette courageuse martyre ne se laissa pas vaincre par la douleur des tourments qu'elle subissait, ni par l’ardeur des flammes, car son coeur était bien autrement embrasé des rayons de la vérité. Aussi ce feu matériel, attisé par la main des hommes, ne put détruire dans son cour intrépide l’ardeur qu'y avait déposée l’oeuvre de Dieu.

Oh ! La grande et l’admirable lutte que celle de cette vierge, qui, par l’inspiration de la grâce de Dieu, se livra aux flammes pour ne pas brûler, et se consuma pour ne pas être consumée ; comme si elle n'eût pas été la proie du feu, et des supplices! Elle était libre de se sauvegarder, mais sans combat, elle ne pouvait acquérir de gloire. Cette vierge et martyre intrépide de Notre Seigneur Jésus-Christ méprise les délices mondaines, foule par ses mépris les joies d'ici-bas, et sans autre désir que de plaire au Christ, son époux, elle reste inébranlable dans sa résolution de garder sa virginité, au milieu des tourments les plus violents.
Ses mérites éminents la font distinguer au milieu des martyrs pour le glorieux triomphe qu'elle a heureusement remporté. Assurément il y eut dans cette femme un courage viril, puisque la fragilité de son sexe ne fléchit point dans une lutte si violente. Elle refoule la crainte humaine par l’amour de Dieu, elle se saisit de la croix du Christ comme d'un trophée ; elle combat et remporte plus promptement la victoire avec les armes de la foi qu'elle n'aurait fait avec le fer, aussi bien contre les passions que contre tous les genres de supplices.

L'enlumineur, Jean Fouquet, a mis en scène le martyre de sainte Apolline comme un mystère. Un rideau d'arbres doublé d'un clayonnage limite le devant de la scène. Avec des gestes démonstratifs, les bourreaux, sur l'ordre de Dèce, ligotent la martyre, lui immobilisent la tête en tirant ses cheveux et lui arrachent les dents. Tandis qu'un fou, au geste obscène, déambule avec sa marotte, le régisseur, baguette en main, dirige l'ensemble du jeu et les musiciens. Décor et tribunes ferment le théâtre : à gauche le paradis, au centre les spectateurs et à droite, l'enfer.
Son corps, comme un holocauste pur et sans tache, fut bientôt dévoré par les flammes, et son âme généreuse et pure s'envola dans les Cieux, l'an 249 de Notre-Seigneur, le 9 février. L'exemple étonnant de sainte Apolline serait répréhensible si elle avait obéi à la précipitation de la nature ; mais l'Église, en l'admettant au nombre des martyrs, nous oblige à croire qu'elle obéit à l'impulsion de l'Esprit divin. Sainte Apolline a toujours été regardée par la dévotion populaire comme secourable contre le mal de dents, sans doute à cause du premier supplice qu'elle avait enduré.

Le courage de cette vierge, allant elle-même au-devant des supplices, est une éclatante condamnation de notre lâcheté au service de Dieu. Daigne nous accorder aussi cette grâce celui qui avec le Père et le Saint-Esprit règne dans les siècles des siècles.

Une église de Rome est sous son invocation et il s'y fait un pélerinage très populaire. Des pélerinages se font aussi en Provence, dans l'Ouest de la France et en particulier en Bretagne.
PRIÈRE
" Quelle ardeur est la vôtre, Ô Apolline ! La flamme du bûcher, loin de vous effrayer, vous attire, et vous y courez comme à un lieu de délices. En face du péché, la mort vous semble douce; et vous n'attendez pas que la main barbare des hommes vous y précipite. Ce courage étonne notre faiblesse ; et cependant le brasier que vous avez préféré à l'apostasie, et qui, dans peu d'instants, devait vous enfanter à un bonheur sans fin, n'est rien auprès de ces feux éternels que le pécheur brave à toute heure, parce qu'il ne les sent pas encore. Il ose défier ces flammes vengeresses, s'y exposer, pour une satisfaction passagère. Avec cela, les mondains se scandalisent des saints ; ils les trouvent exagérés, emportés, fanatiques, parce que les saints voient plus loin qu'ils ne voient eux-mêmes.
Réveillez en nous, Ô Apolline, la crainte du péché qui dévore éternellement ceux qui meurent avec lui. Si le bûcher qui fut pour vous comme un lit de repos nous semble affreux, que l'horreur de la souffrance et de la destruction serve du moins à nous éloigner du mal qui entraîne les hommes dans cet abîme, du fond duquel, comme parle saint Jean, la fumée de leurs tourments monte dans les siècles des siècles . Ayez pitié de nous, Ô Vierge ! priez pour les pécheurs. Ouvrez-leur les yeux sur les périls qui les menacent. Faites-nous craindre Dieu, afin que nous puissions éviter ses justices, et que nous commencions enfin à l'aimer."


Rogier van der Weyden. Sainte Marguerite et sainte Apolline foulant le démon.

Flandres. XVe.


Sainte Apolline
Vierge et Martyre (+ 249)
Sainte Apolline ou Apollonie était d’Alexandrie ; au milieu de la corruption générale, elle y passait pour un modèle de vertu et de modestie chrétienne. Cette héroïque jeune fille ne se contenta pas de consacrer au Seigneur ses premières années, sa jeunesse et son existence entière, elle voulut encore lui offrir le sacrifice de sa vie.
L’an 248, une persécution sanglante éclata dans la cité ; la fureur des païens contre les chrétiens ne connut point de bornes. On pilla les maisons et on exerça contre les personnes les plus horribles violences. Apolline, déjà avancée en âge, loin de prendre la fuite, demeura toujours à Alexandrie, sans craindre la perte de ses biens ni de sa vie, heureuse, au contraire, d’attendre l’occasion de couronner ses vertus par un glorieux martyre.
Un jour, elle fut arrêtée ; les bourreaux se jetèrent sur elle, la frappèrent si rudement avec des cailloux, qu’ils lui rompirent les mâchoires et lui brisèrent les dents ; puis, l’ayant entraînée hors de la ville, ils allumèrent un grand feu, résolus de l’y jeter, si elle ne renonçait pas à Jésus-Christ. La Sainte demanda quelques moments comme pour réfléchir à ce qu’elle devait faire.
Les païens espérèrent un instant qu’elle allait reculer devant l’horrible supplice du feu. Mais Apolline, profitant de cet instant de liberté, s’échappa de leurs mains, et poussée par l’ardeur de l’amour divin qui embrasait son coeur, elle s’élança elle-même impétueusement dans le feu, au grand étonnement de ses bourreaux stupéfaits de voir une fille plus hardie et plus prompte à souffrir la mort qu’eux-mêmes à la lui faire endurer.
Son corps fut bientôt dévoré par les flammes, et son âme généreuse et pure s’envola dans les Cieux, l’an 249 de Notre-Seigneur, le 9 février. L’exemple étonnant de sainte Apolline serait répréhensible si elle avait obéi à la précipitation de la nature ; mais l’Église, en l’admettant au nombre des martyrs, nous oblige à croire qu’elle obéit à l’impulsion de l’Esprit divin. Sainte Apolline a toujours été regardée par la dévotion populaire comme secourable contre le mal de dents, sans doute à cause du premier supplice qu’elle avait enduré.
SOURCE : https://viechretienne.catholique.org/saints/693-sainte-apolline



SAINTE APOLLONIE (APOLLINE) *

Au temps de l’empereur Dèce, une affreuse persécution s'éleva à Alexandrie contre les serviteurs de Dieu. Un homme nommé Devin devança. les ordres de l’empereur, comme ministre des démons, en excitant, contre les chrétiens, la superstition de la populace qui dans son ardeur était dévorée de la soif du sang des justes. Tout d'abord on se saisit de quelques personnes pieuses de l’un et de l’autre sexe. Aux uns, on déchirait le corps, membre après membre, à coups de fouets ; à d'autres, on crevait les yeux avec des roseaux pointus, ainsi que le visage, après quoi on les chassait de la ville. Quelques-uns étaient traînés aux pieds des idoles afin de les leur faire adorer; mais comme ils s'y refusaient avec horreur, on leur liait les pieds avec des chaînes, on les traînait à travers les rues de toute la ville, et leurs corps étaient arrachés par flambeaux dans cet atroce et épouvantable supplice. Or, il y avait; en ce temps-là, une vierge remarquable, d'un age fort avancé, nommée Apollonie, ornée des fleurs de la chasteté, de la sobriété et de la pureté, semblable à une colonne des plus solides, appuyée sur l’esprit même du Seigneur, elle offrait aux anges et aux hommes le spectacle admirable de bonnes oeuvres inspirées par la foi et par une vertu céleste. La multitude en fureur s'était donc ruée sur les maisons des serviteurs de Dieu, brisant tout avec un acharnement étrange ; on traîna d'abord au tribunal des méchants la bienheureuse Apollonie, innocente de simplicité, fort, de sa vertu, et n'ayant pour se défendre que la conscience d'un coeur intrépide, et la pureté d'une conscience sans tache; elle offrait avec grand dévouement son âme à Dieu et abandonnait à ses persécuteurs son corps tout chaste pour qu'il fût tourmenté. Lors donc que cette bienheureuse vierge fut entre leurs mains, ils eurent la cruauté de lui briser d'abord les dents; ensuite, ils amassèrent du bois pour en dresser un grand billot et la menacèrent de la brûler vive, si elle ne disait avec eux certaines paroles impies. Mais la sainte n’eut pas plutôt vu le bûcher en flammes, que, se recueillant un instant, tout d'un coup, elle s'échappe des mains des bourreaux, et se jette elle-même dans le brasier dont on la menaçait. De là l’effroi des païens cruels qui voyaient une femme plus pressée de recevoir la mort qu'eux de l’infliger. Eprouvée déjà par différents supplices, cette courageuse martyre ne se laissa pas vaincre par la douleur des tourments qu'elle subissait, ni par l’ardeur des flammes, car son coeur était bien autrement embrasé des rayons de la vérité. Aussi ce feu matériel, attisé par la main des hommes, ne put détruire dans son cour intrépide l’ardeur qu'y avait déposée l’oeuvre de Dieu. Oh ! la grande et l’admirable lutte que celle de cette vierge, qui, par l’inspiration de la grâce de Dieu, se livra aux flammes pour ne pas brûler, et se consuma pour ne pas être consumée ; comme si elle n'eût pas été la proie du feu, et des supplices! Elle était libre de se sauvegarder, mais sans combat, elle ne pouvait acquérir de gloire. Cette vierge et martyre intrépide de J.-C. méprise les délices mondaines, foule par ses mépris les joies d'ici-bas, et sans autre désir que de plaire au Christ, son époux, elle reste inébranlable dans sa résolution de garder sa virginité, au milieu des tourments les plus violents. Ses mérites éminents la font distinguer au milieu des martyrs pour le glorieux triomphe qu'elle a heureusement remporté. Assurément il y eut dans cette femme un courage viril, puisque la fragilité de son sexe ne fléchit point dans une lutte si violente. Elle refoule la crainte humaine par l’amour de Dieu, elle se saisit de la croix du Christ comme d'un trophée; elle combat et remporte plus promptement la victoire avec les armes de la foi qu'elle n'aurait fait avec le fer, aussi bien contre les passions que contre tous les genres de supplices. Daigne nous accorder aussi cette grâce celui qui avec le Père et le Saint-Esprit règne dans les siècles des siècles.

* Eusèbe, Histoire ecclésiastique, liv. VIII, ch. XXXI.

La Légende dorée de Jacques de Voragine nouvellement traduite en français avec introduction, notices, notes et recherches sur les sources par l'abbé J.-B. M. Roze, chanoine honoraire de la Cathédrale d'Amiens, Édouard Rouveyre, éditeur, 76, rue de Seine, 76, Paris mdccccii

SOURCE : http://www.abbaye-saint-benoit.ch/voragine/tome02/067.htm



Ste Apolline (IIIème siècle)
Vierge et martyre à Alexandrie en Égypte lors d'un moment où l'empereur Dèce, sans organiser une véritable persécution, laissait les païens donner la chasse aux Chrétiens et les tuer comme ils voulaient, sans qu'ils soient punis pour ces meurtres.

Saint Denis d'Alexandrie, dans une lettre à son ami Fabien, Évêque d'Antioche, raconte comment elle fut prise par les païens au cours d'une émeute.
Elle n'était plus jeune, et c'est pourquoi ils s'amusèrent à l'édenter. Ils lui brisèrent une à une toutes les dents puis la menacèrent de la jeter vivante dans le bûcher qu'ils venaient d'allumer si elle ne reniait pas sa Foi.
Brûlée par le feu de l'Amour du Christ, elle s'excusa auprès d'eux de ne pouvoir le renier, puis elle s'élança d'elle-même dans les flammes.
Se Apolline est la patronne des dentistes et est invoquée pour le soulagement des rages de dents et pour la guérison des caries.



Apollonia (Apolline) of Alexandria VM (RM)
with Metras, Quinta, and Serapion MM


Died in Alexandria in 249; feast day formerly February 7. Saint Apollonia was the miraculously conceived daughter of rich, barren parents. After nearly giving up hope of being blessed by a child despite constant prayers to her gods, Apollonia's mother begged the Blessed Virgin to intercede. When in her youth the saint learned of the circumstances of her conception, she became a Christian. Directed by an angel, she went to Saint Leonine, a disciple of Saint Antony, for baptism. An angel then appeared with her baptismal robe and told her to go and preach in Alexandria, which she did. What I have written so fare is part of one version of a legend regarding Saint Apollonia, which ends with with her father giving her up to the authorities for martyrdom. Better sources are available.


During the persecution of Christians under Philip, Saint Apollonia was caught up in the midst of a bloodthirsty mob out to kill as many Christians as possible. Christians were dragged from their homes, while their property was looted. It started with a poet of Alexandria, who pretended to foretell disaster because of the presence of the impious Christians. He stirred up this great city.

The first victim of their rage was a venerable old man, named Metranus (Metras). When he refused to utter impious words against the worship of the true God, they beat him with staffs, thrust splinters of reeds into his eyes, and stoned him to death. The next person the mob seized was a Christian woman, called Cointha (Quinta), whom they carried to one of their temples to pay divine worship to the idol. She reproached the execrable divinity, which so exasperated the people that they tied her to the tail of a horse and dragged her over the pavement of sharp pebbles, cruelly scourged her, and put her to death. Another victim of this same cruelty was holy man called Serapion, who was tortured in his own house. After bruising his limbs, disjointing and breaking his bones, they threw him headlong from the top of the house onto the pavement, and so completed his martyrdom.

Apollonia was an old woman, a deaconess, but she was brave as the other Christians. Her bishop, Saint Dionysius, who witnessed her death, described it in a letter to Fabius and preserved by Eusebius, bishop of Antioch:

"They seized that marvelous aged virgin Apollonia, broke out all her teeth with blows on her jaws, and piling up a bonfire before the city, threatened to burn her alive if she refused to recite with them their blasphemous sayings. But she asked for a brief delay. . . ."

The mob believed that she was trying to decide whether or not to apostatize, but she was stalling so that they would know what she did was of her own volition. She clearly decided that none of them would have the pleasure of throwing her aged body into the fire. Expectantly, the mob let go of her and drew back. At this moment Apollonia "of her own accord leaped into the pyre, being kindled within by the greater fire of the Holy Spirit" (Roman Martyrology)- -to be honored ever since as a fearless Christian martyr. Saint Augustine conjectured that she acted according to a particular prompting of the Holy Spirit; otherwise, it would have been unlawful according to Church canon to take her own life.

It can never be lawful for a person by any action willfully to concur to, or hasten his own death, though many martyrs, out of a desire to lay down their lives for God, anticipated the executioners in completing their sacrifice. Rather it was a monstrous belief among the ancient Greeks and Romans that it was honorable, even heroic, to commit suicide in distress, as a remedy against temporal miseries. As Christians we believe that our lives are not our own, they belong to God. "The Lord gives and the Lord takes away. Blessed be the name of the Lord." Our lives are the greatest gift God has bestowed upon us. Whatever befalls us in this life, it takes more courage and greatness of spirit to endure sufferings patiently than to take our own lives. We see the example of Job in the Old Testament, and trust in God.

After the deaths of these four martyrs in ancient Alexandria, the rioters were in the height of their fury. Alexandria seemed like a city taken by storm. The Christians made no opposition, but betook themselves to flight, and beheld the loss of their goods with joy; for their hearts had no ties on earth. Their constancy was equal to their disinterestedness; for of all who fell into their hands, Saint Dionysius knew of none that renounced Christ. A civil war put an end to the fury of the populace, but the edict of Decius renewed it in 250. In this true story, we see the damage that can be caused by rumor.

Although altars and churches were soon dedicated to her in the West, Apollonia appears to have had no cultus in the East. Perhaps this was because she was soon confused with another Saint Apollonia who was martyred by Julian the Apostate. Of course, later artists and writers turned her into a beautiful young girl, daughter of a king, sometimes tortured by her own father by having her teeth extracted by pincers. Sometimes the story ends with the repentance of her father who vows to help those who suffer from toothache.

A quarterly publication for dentists out of Boston, Massachusetts, is called, appropriately, The Apollonian. Her feast is now celebrated only by those parishes of which she is the patroness (Benedictines, Bentley, Delaney, Encyclopedia, Farmer, Husenbeth, Tabor, White).

With good reason, Saint Apollonia is pictured holding a tooth (sometimes gold) with a pair of pincers. She may be shown after her teeth were pulled out or simply with a book and pincers. She is invoked against toothache (Roeder). If she does not have the pincers, she usually wears a necklace made of her own teeth (Bentley). She is the patron of dentists (White). There is a frescoe of her by Luini at Saronno (Tabor).

SOURCE : http://www.saintpatrickdc.org/ss/0209.shtml

St. Apollonia

A holy virgin who suffered martyrdom in Alexandria during a local uprising against the Christians previous to thepersecution of Decius (end of 248, or beginning of 249). During the festivities commemorative of the firstmillenary of the Roman Empire, the agitation of the heathen populace rose to a great height, and when one of their poets prophesied a calamity, they committed bloody outrages on the Christians whom the authorities made no effort to protect. The great Dionysius, then Bishop of Alexandria (247-265), relates the sufferings of his people in a letter addressed to Fabius, Bishop of Antioch, long extracts from which Eusebius has preserved for us (Church History I.6.41). After describing how a Christian man and woman, named respectively Metras andQuinta, were seized by the seditious mob and put to death with the most cruel tortures, and how the houses of several other Christians were completely pillaged, Dionysius continues: "At that time Apollonia the parthénos presbûtis (virgo presbytera, by which he very probably means not a virgin advanced in years, but a deaconess) was held in high esteem. These men seized her also and by repeated blows broke all her teeth. They then erected outside the city gates a pile of fagots and threatened to burn her alive if she refused to repeat after them impious words (either a blasphemy against Christ, or an invocation of the heathen gods). Given, at her own request, a little freedom, she sprang quickly into the fire and was burned to death." Apollonia belongs, therefore, to that class of early Christian martyrs who did not await the death they were threatened with, but either to preserve their chastity, or because confronted with the alternative of renouncing their faith or suffering death,voluntarily embraced the latter in the form prepared for them. In the honour paid to her martyrs the Churchmade no distinction between these women and others. St. Augustine touches on this question in the first book of the "City of God", apropos of suicide (City of God I.26); "But, they say, during the time of persecution certainholy women plunged into the water with the intention of being swept away by the waves and drowned, and thus preserve their threatened chastity. Although they quitted life in this wise, nevertheless they receive high honouras martyrs in the Catholic Church and their feasts are observed with great ceremony. This is a matter on which I dare not pass judgment lightly. For I know not but that the Church was divinely authorized through trustworthyrevelations to honour thus the memory of these Christians. It may be that such is the case. May it not be, too, that these acted in such a manner, not through human caprice but on the command of God, not erroneously but through obedience, as we must believe in the case of Samson? When, however, God gives a command and makes it clearly known, who would account obedience thereto a crime or condemn such pious devotion and ready service?" The narrative of Dionysius does not suggest the slightest reproach as to this act of St. Apollonia; in his eyes she was as much a martyr as the others, and as such she was revered in the Alexandrian Church. In time, her feast was also popular in the West. A later legend assigned a similar martyrdom to Apollonia, a Christianvirgin of Rome in the reign of Julian the Apostate. There was, however, but one martyr of this name, i.e. theSaint of Alexandria. The Roman Church celebrates her memory on 9 February, and she is popularly invokedagainst the toothache because of the torments she had to endure. She is represented in art with pincers in which a tooth is held. There was a church dedicated to her at Rome but it no longer exists. The little square, however, in which it stood is still called "Piazza Sant' Apollonia".

Sources

Acta SS., Feb., II, 278 sqq.; Katholik (1872), I, 226 sqq.; Bibliotheca hagiographica latina, ed. BOLLAND. (Brussels, 1898), 103 sqq.; NEUMANN, Der römische Staat und die allgemeine Kirche (Leipzig, 1890) I, 252 sqq.; BUTLER, Lives, 9 Feb.

Kirsch, Johann Peter. "St. Apollonia." The Catholic Encyclopedia. Vol. 1. New York: Robert Appleton Company, 1907. 30 Oct. 2016 <http://www.newadvent.org/cathen/01617c.htm>.


Transcription. This article was transcribed for New Advent by WGKofron. With thanks to St. Mary's Church, Akron, Ohio.

Ecclesiastical approbation. Nihil Obstat. March 1, 1907. Remy Lafort, S.T.D., Censor. Imprimatur. +John Cardinal Farley, Archbishop of New York.

SOURCE : http://www.newadvent.org/cathen/01617c.htm

St. Apollonia

AT Alexandria, in 249, the mob rose in savage fury against the Christians. Metras, an old man, perished first. His eyes were pierced with reeds, and he was stoned to death. A woman named Quinta was the next victim. She was led to a heathen temple and bidden worship. She replied by cursing the false god again and again, and she too was stoned to death. After this the houses of the Christians were sacked and plundered. They took the spoiling of their goods with all joy.

St. Apollonia, an aged virgin, was the most famous among the martyrs. Her teeth were beaten out; she was led outside the city; a huge fire was kindled, and she was told she must deny Christ, or else be burned alive. She was silent for a while, and then, moved by a special inspiration of the Holy Ghost, she leapt into the fire and died in its flames. The same courage showed itself the next year, when Decius became Emperor, and the persecution grew till it seemed as if the very elect must fall away. The story of Dioscorus illustrates the courage of the Alexandrian Christians, and the esteem they had for martyrdom. He was a boy of fifteen. To the arguments of the judge he returned wise answers: he was proof against torture. His older companions were executed, but Dioscorus was spared on account of his tender years; yet the Christians could not bear to think that he had been deprived of the martyr's crown, except to receive it afterward more gloriously. " Dioscorus," writes Dionysius, Bishop of Alexandria at this time, "remains with us, reserved for some longer and greater combat." There were indeed many Christians who came, pale and trembling, to offer the heathen sacrifices. But the judges themselves were struck with horror at the multitudes who rushed to martyrdom. Women triumphed over torture, till at last the judges were glad to execute them at once, and put an end to the ignominy of their own defeat.

REFLECTION.—Many Saints, who were not martyrs, have longed to shed their blood for Christ. We, too, may pray for some portion of their spirit; and the least suffering for the Faith, borne with humility and courage, is the proof that Christ has heard our prayer.

SOURCE : http://jesus-passion.com/saint_apollonia_and_the_martyrs.htm


St. Apollonia

The persecution of Christians began in Alexandria during the reign of the Emperor Philip. The first victim of the pagan mob was an old man named Metrius, who was tortured and then stoned to death. The second person who refused to worship their false idols was a Christian woman named Quinta.

Her words infuriated the mob and she was scourged and stoned. While most of the Christians were fleeing the city, abandoning all their worldly possessions, an old deaconess, Apollonia, was seized.

The crowds beat her, knocking out all of her teeth. Then they lit a large fire and threatened to throw her in it if she did not curse her God. She begged them to wait a moment, acting as if she was considering their requests. Instead, she jumped willingly into the flames and so suffered martyrdom.

There were many churches and altars dedicated to her. Apollonia is the patroness of dentists, and people suffering from toothache and other dental diseases often ask her intercession. She is pictured with a pair of pincers holding a tooth or with a golden tooth suspended from her necklace. St. Augustine explained her voluntary martyrdom as a special inspiration of the Holy Spirit, since no one is allowed to cause his or her own death.

SOURCE : http://www.ucatholic.com/saints/saint-apollonia/


Le Martyre de sainte Apolline. 
Heures à l'usage de Paris. XVe.

February 9

St. Apollonia, Virgin and Martyr

Her acts are of no authority, and falsely place her triumph at Rome, instead of Alexandria. See Tillemont, t. 3. p. 295. Her authentic history is in the letter of St. Dionysius, then bishop of Alexandria, preserved by Eusebius, l. 6. c. 41, 42. p. 236. Ed. Val.

A.D. 249

ST. DIONYSIUS of Alexandria wrote to Fabius, bishop of Antioch, a relation of the persecution raised at Alexandria by the heathen populace of that city, in the last year of the reign of the emperor Philip. A certain poet of Alexandria, who pretended to foretell things to come, stirred up this great city against the Christians on the motive of religion. The first victim of their rage was a venerable old man, named Metras, or Metrius, whom they would have compelled to utter impious words against the worship of the true God: which, when he refused to do, they beat him with staffs, thrust splinters of reeds into his eyes, and having dragged him into one of the suburbs, stoned him to death. The next person they seized was a Christian woman, called Quinta, whom they carried to one of their temples to pay divine worship to the idol. She loaded the execrable divinity with many reproaches, which so exasperated the people that they dragged her by the heels upon the pavement of sharp pebbles, cruelly scourged her, and put her to the same death. The rioters, by this time, were in the height of their fury. Alexandria seemed like a city taken by storm. The Christians made no opposition, but betook themselves to flight, and beheld the loss of their goods with joy; for their hearts had no ties on earth. Their constancy was equal to their disinterestedness; for of all who fell into their hands, St. Dionysius knew of none that renounced Christ.

The admirable Apollonia, whom old age and the state of virginity rendered equally venerable, was seized by them. Their repeated blows on her jaws beat out all her teeth. At last they made a great fire without the city, and threatened to cast her into it, if she did not utter certain impious words. She begged a moment’s delay, as if it had been to deliberate on the proposal; but, to convince her persecutors that her sacrifice was perfectly voluntary, she no sooner found herself at liberty, than of her own accord she leaped into the flames. They next exercised their fury on a holy man called Serapion, and tortured him in his own house with great cruelty. After bruising his limbs, disjointing and breaking his bones, they threw him headlong from the top of the house on the pavement, and so completed his martyrdom. A civil war among the pagan citizens put an end to their fury this year, but the edict of Decius renewed it in 250. See the rest of the relation on the 27th of February. An ancient church in Rome, which is frequented with great devotion, bears the name of Saint Apollonia: under whose patronage we meet with churches and altars in most parts of the Western church.

The last part of our saint’s conduct is not proposed to our imitation, as self-murder is unjustifiable. If any among the Fathers have commended it, they presumed, with St. Austin, that it was influenced by a particular direction of the Holy Ghost, or was the effect of a pious simplicity, founded in motives of holy zeal and charity. For it can never be lawful for a person by any action wilfully to concur to, or hasten his own death, though many martyrs out of an ardent charity, and desire of laying down their lives for God, and being speedily united to him, anticipated the executioners in completing their sacrifice. Among the impious, absurd, and false maxims of the Pagan Greeks and Romans, scarcely anything was more monstrous than the manner in which they canonized suicide in distress, as a remedy against temporal miseries, and a point of heroism. To hear infamy and all kind of sufferings with unshaken constancy and virtue is true courage and greatness of soul, and the test and triumph of virtue: and to sink under misfortunes, is the most unworthy baseness of soul. But what name can we find for the pusillanimity of those who are not able so much as to look humiliations, poverty, or affliction in the face? Our life we hold of God, and he who destroys it injures God, to whom he owes it. He refuses also to his friends and to the republic of mankind, the comfort and succours which they are entitled in justice or charity to receive from him. Moreover, if to murder another is the greatest temporal injustice a man can commit against a neighbour, life being of all temporal blessings the greatest and most noble, suicide is a crime so much more enormous, as the charity which every one owes to himself, especially to his immortal soul, is stricter, more noble, and of a superior order to that which he owes to his neighbour.

Rev. Alban Butler (1711–73).  Volume II: February. The Lives of the Saints.  1866.



Reliquaire de Sainte Apolline, cathédrale de Porto

Saint Apollonia of Alexandria

Also known as
  • Apolline of Alexandria
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Consecrated virgin. Deaconess. During an anti-Christian uprising in Alexandria, Egypt caused by a pagan prophecy, the mob seized Apollonia as a leader among the local Christians. After her teeth were broken with pincers, she was given the choice of renouncing Christ or being burned alive; she lept onto the fire herself. Martyr.



Fresco of Saint Apollonia, St. Nicholas Church, Stralsund

Saint Apollonia – The Patron Saint of Dentistry

Ever since I have known that dentistry had a patron saint I have been interested in her and have from time to time gathered material germane to the subject.

On a recent excursion to Quebec I made a visit to Sainte Anne and you may be sure that one of the things that drew me thither was to see this portion of the jaw of Saint Apollonia. I made a brave effort to locate this piece of jaw but not being a French scholar and French being the “official” language at Saint Anne, I was unable to find it. I am very much afraid it either is not there or else is not accounted among the valued possessions of the church.

Upon my return home, I concluded to gather together the material I have and present it to the dental profession. In my search for material I have been aided by my friend, Mr. Charles G. Marrett, and the pictures I show I have obtained mostly from friends who have traveled abroad and have been on the outlook for pictures of Saint Apollonia for me, knowing I am interested in the subject.

An article on Saint Apollonia appeared in the July, 1913, number of the Dental Brief. This article, however, has many inaccuracies and I also believe I can add much to the subject. Dr. Koch, in his History of Dental Surgery, refers to this Saint and a painting of Saint Apollonia was presented to the Philadelphia Academy of Stomatology by Dr. C. N. Pierce in 1900. So far as I know these are the only references to Saint Apollonia in our dental literature.

For centuries before there was any dental profession, men and women suffering from toothache had been accustomed to call upon Saint Apollonia to come to their assistance. Poor mortals, that was about all they could do, for a medieval toothache was a pretty hopeless affair. If Apollonia declined to help you, you might try a charm, or go upon a little pilgrimage, but in the end you would probably be quite speedily reduced to the drastic remedy of extraction, and be forced to hunt up some one with a pair of forceps or tweezers – the barber, surgeon or the blacksmith. Extraction could have been no laughing matter in those rough days. Wise and wealthy people saved up their toothaches till the day came round for one of the great annual fairs or markets, and then had their decayed stumps harvested, amid a blare of trumpets, by artists in gorgeous costumes. On such occasions the victim would be further enheartened by a large and interested concourse of spectators.

But perhaps the best thing to do, if Saint Apollonia refused her aid was to seek some monastery and ask the good brothers to take your tooth out. They were usually willing to do so, if approached in the proper spirit. They kept up this tooth pulling practice, too, into quite recent times. Not so very many years ago, if we happened to be on the Capitoline Hill at Rome on one of the proper days, we should have seen a gloomy band of men, women, and children toiling up the long, steep stairs to the portals of the church of Santa Marie in Araceli, not barefooted or on their knees, but with swollen, aching cheeks, done up in cloths or handkerchiefs, which would be tied in large disconsolate bow knots in a way no longer the fashion for pedestrian toothaches. On the upper step a squad of Franciscan friars, forceps in hand, awaited the sufferers, and there on the crest of Araceli’s marble staircase, the populace of Rome, amid much unrestrained and hearty screeching, were wont to have their teeth out at the expense of the church.

On the whole, Apollonia does not seem to have done her duty very well. Teeth are tolerably scarce in Christian history. Even such an exquisite as King Henry III of France at the height of his fascinations did not possess a tooth to his name.

We find there are two Saint Apollonias; a real one, as historic as Queen Elizabeth or Julius Caesar, and no handsomer; and a legendary one, all youth and grace and loveliness. And it is the latter the artists painted, and the toothache patients invoked. Although so far as she goes the real Apollonia is extremely authentic, we have only a few details concerning her. We know that she lived in Alexandria, and that on February 9th of the year 250, during the persecution of the Christians ordered by the Emperor Decius, she was cruelly tortured by having her teeth knocked out, and then was burned to death. As everybody knows, one of the chief authorities for the history of the early Christian Church is the Ecclesiastical History of Eusebius, Bishop of Caesarea in the fourth century. If we turn to book VI, chapter 41, of this work we shall find there a letter from Dionysius, Bishop of Alexandria, written to Fabius, Bishop of Antioch, which gives an account of the Decian persecution at Alexandria, and also tells us all we really know of Saint Apollonia. Since it is her only historical document, we will quote the portions which relate to her:

“The persecution with us did not begin with the imperial edict, but preceded it a whole year. And a certain prophet and poet excited the mass of the heathen against us, stirring them up to their native superstition. Stimulated by him, and taking full liberty to exercise any kind of wickedness, they considered this the only way of showing their piety – to slay us. First, then, seizing a certain aged man, named Metras, they called on him to utter impious expressions, and as he did not obey, they beat his body with clubs, and pricked his face and eyes; after which they led him away to the suburbs, where they stoned him.”

The letter then relates how they also maltreated and stoned a woman named Quinta and continues:

“Then with one accord, all rushed upon the houses of the pious, and whomsoever of their neighbors they knew, they drove thither in all haste, and despoiled and plundered them, setting apart the more valuable of the articles for themselves; but the more common and wooden furniture they threw about and burnt in the roads, presenting a sight like a city taken by the enemy. They also seized that admirable virgin Apollonia, then in advanced age, and beating her jaws, they broke out all her teeth, and kindling a fire before the city, threatened to burn her alive, unless she would repeat their impious expressions. She appeared at first to shrink a little, but when suffered to go, she suddenly sprang into the fire and was consumed.”

That is all our actual knowledge of Saint Apollonia and it is surely sufficiently pathetic and deplorable.

She was promptly canonized, and took her place among the noble army of martyrs, but one can readily guess that “an admirable virgin in advanced age” would not be so popular with painters and writers of religious poetry and afflicted devotees as something younger and more romantic. Therefore, it is not surprising that “the admirable virgin in advanced age” grew steadily younger and more beautiful in church tradition and ecclesiastical art, and as she grew more attractive, her story became more elaborate. Here it is in its revised and accepted form:

There lived in Alexandria during the first half of the third century a very opulent magistrate, of unknown name. He had married a wife whom he loved devotedly, and who loved him fondly in return. The only blot on the happiness of this pair was the fact that they had no children. They addressed earnest and unceasing prayers to Juno, Ceres, Jupiter, all the gods, to grant unto them a son or daughter to inherit their vast wealth, but all without avail. Three pious pilgrims arrived in Alexandria, and went from house to house asking alms in the name of the Redeemer and the Blessed Virgin, his mother, for they were tired and hungry. The magistrate’s wife, seated at her window one day saw them, and heard their petition at a house across the way. Her interest was aroused by their strange words, and she called to them saying: “What sort of begging is that of yours, and who are the gods in whose name you ask?” Wherefore the pilgrims told her of Christ, His life and teaching. And she asked them if the Virgin Mar}’ would hear her if she prayed that a child might be given her, and the pilgrims replied that the Virgin would be gracious to her without any doubt. Then the wife of the magistrate fell on her knees and prayed long and fervently to the Holy Virgin, and her request was granted and a daughter was born to her, to whom she gave the name of Apollonia.

The child grew into a maiden as lovely and graceful as a flower, and as good and pure as she was beautiful. The family of a Roman magistrate quite naturally conformed to the established religion of the state, but the mother never ceased to talk to her daughter about the wonderful circumstances of her birth, and about Christ and the Holy Virgin to whom she had addressed her prayers. Apollonia drank in all the details, and as she got older there sprang up in her heart a strong desire to be baptized and become a Christian. And Heaven did not leave her helpless. An angel came to her one day and led her out of Alexandria into the desert to the cell of Leonine, a disciple of Saint Anthony. Apollonia told him her story and her wish to be a Christian, and Leonine baptized her forthwith. Hardly had he done so than another angel swooped down from Heaven, and throwing a garment of shining white about Apollonia cried: “This is Apollonia, the servant of Jesus; Go, now, to Alexandria and preach the faith of Christ.”

Apollonia returned home filled with ecstasy and zeal. She went among the people and preached to them with wonderful eloquence, making many converts. Before long complaints concerning her and her doings began to pour in on her father. Why did he, a Roman magistrate, allow his daughter to break so flagrantly the laws of the Empire?

He, much disturbed, called Apollonia to him to explain her conduct. She defended herself with dignity and fervor, and still kept on with her preaching and conversions, until her father, beside himself with anger, gave her up to the Roman governor to be dealt with as a criminal. The governor ordered her to be taken into the temple of one of the pagan gods, Serapis, most likely, and bade her fall on her knees before the statue of the deity and adore it. Apollonia flatly refused to comply. She advanced haughtily to the statue, made the sign of the cross, and commanded the demon inside to depart. There was an awful rumble, a crash, a shriek, and from the broken image the demon fled, crying: “The holy virgin, Apollonia, drives me forth.”

This proceeding served to send the governor into a fit of violent wrath. At his bidding the girl was bound to a column, and one by one her beautiful teeth were all pulled out with a pair of pincers. Then a big fire was kindled, and, as Apollonia persisted in her faith, she was flung headlong into the blaze, and there gave up her soul to God, being borne to Heaven by His angels.

Even in the guise of a lovely and romantic maiden Saint Apollonia never attained great vogue. When one compares her to some other female saints – Cecilia, Catherine, Agnes, Lucia, Agatha, Barbara, Margaret – and thinks of all the multitude of churches and chapels which have been reared to them in many lands, and the hundreds of paintings of them which fill the galleries and ornament the altars of the world, Saint Apollonia’s light seems but a dim one indeed. Apparently, the only people who have cherished her and her memory to any extent, have been those with toothaches. They were told or read of her sufferings, with her teeth, and relied on her sympathy for theirs. The following prayer is published in F. Martinez’s book on dentistry published in Valladolid, Spain, in 1557:

Illustrious virgin martyr, Apollonia,


Pray to the Lord for us


Lest for our offenses and sins we be punished


By diseases of the teeth.

Another ancient prayer is the following: “Eternally omnipotent God, for whose honor blessed Apollonia, virgin and martyr, steadfastly suffered the horrible crushing-out of her teeth, grant Thou as we desire, that we may be made happy in commemoration of her, thru whose most pious intercession we were freed from toothache and all imminent evils. Through Christ our Lord. Amen.” There is also an amusing dialogue in Cervantes’ Don Quixote (published in 1615) as follows:

“Be in no pain then,” replied the bachelor, “but go home, in Heaven’s name, and get something warm for breakfast, and on your way repeat the prayer of Saint Apollonia – if you know it.”

“Bless me!” replied the housekeeper, “the prayer of Saint Apollonia, say you? That might do something if my master’s distemper laid in his gums, but alas! it is all in his brains.”

There must have been millions of these toothache devotees thru the long centuries, but they seem on the whole to have teen an ungrateful lot, for once their pain stopped or their teeth were out, they evidently quite quickly forgot their patroness.

There was once in Florence a convent dedicated to Apollonia, but it was long ago secularized and is now devoted to some military purpose. Only its refectory remains intact. There one can see a small gallery of paintings, but Saint Apollonia does not figure on any of the canvases.

The pictures of this saint are few anywhere. Mrs Jameson in her Sacred and Legendary Art names those that were known to her, and few things escaped the keen eyes of that indefatigable English lady, but strangely enough the Saint Apollonias we know best and think most of, she does not mention, while most of the paintings on her list, which is a short one, have since her time by reason of sales and many relocations hidden themselves irretrievably from the gaze of the ordinary tourist. Mrs. Jameson saw a Saint Apollonia by Hemlinck – where she does not say – one by Furini in the Rinuccini Palace at Florence, one by Granacci in Munich, others by the same artist in the Academy at Florence, and lastly the saint’s martyrdom by Procaccini in Milan Cathedral. But pictures have been of late years much bandied about by art critics, shuffled and dealt about so extensively among artists, that what was called a Furini or a Granacci in Mrs. Jameson’s time, may nowadays circulate as an Allori or a Bugiardini. Palaces and their contents have been so bought and sold that the migrations of paintings have been many and extensive. There are, nevertheless, two or three Saint Apollonias which can be easily found and enjoyed.

Go to Rome, cross the Tiber, and in the Trastevere quarter visit the big Corsini Palace which stands just across the street from the Farnesina where Raphael painted some immortal frescoes. This Corsini Palace was in other centuries the home of various lordly papal nephews, Riarii, Corsini, etc. Within its walls in 1689 died that most curious and unpleasant female, Queen Christina of Sweden, the Roman Catholic daughter of the great Protestant champion, Gustavus Adolphus, the Christina who preferred men’s clothes to her ordinary female attire, who found being queen a dull business and so gave up her throne, who murdered her lover Monaldeschi at Fontainebleau, who refused to comb her hair oftener than once a month and at last would not comb it at all, and clapped upon her head a moth-y brown wig like Dr. Johnson’s. Now, on the walls of the rooms in which this eccentric lady lived and-died, hang the pictures of the Galleria Nazionale of Rome, and among them is Saint Apollonia by Carlo Dolce in the artist’s customary over sentimental manner. Carlo’s saint is a very pretty girl, but is not impressive or convincing as a Christian martyr. Dionysius of Alexandria would surely never recognize in her “the admirable virgin of advanced age,” who, for her faith leaped into flames of fire. Her head is thrown back, her eyes are raised with languishing glances to Heaven; one hand is pressed against her. bosom, in the other she holds tight, in a pair of forceps, a very perfect tooth. But we refuse to believe for a minute that this tooth is hers. Look at her! she has not lost a single one.

One artist has painted Saint Apollonia to perfection; that is Bernardino Luini, who lived a hundred and fifty years before Carlo Dolce, and did his best work during the first quarter of the Sixteenth century. Bernardino Luini was the most celebrated master of the Lombard school. He was born at Luino about 1465. He is one of the five great painters whose “supremacy” Ruskin names. Upon this always graceful, always tender, always lovely painter fell some shreds from the mantle of his great master, Leonardo. Saint Apollonia may well rejoice that she found such an artist to portray her, for having once be held her as Luini has depicted her at Milan and Saronno, you feel an affectionate interest in her, though you may not be a dentist, or even have a toothache.

Most beautiful of all Saint Apollonias is she of San Maurizio on the Corso Magenta at Milan. There is a bit of history connected with her and her charming sister saints. Early in the Sixteenth century a family of the name of Bentivoglio were lords of Bologna. Bologna belonged by right to the Popes, as did Ravenna, Forli, Rimini, Perugia, and many other cities of Central Italy, for several hundred years before, Pepin, King of the Franks, had conquered the Lombards and handed their cities over to Rome. But the hand of the Papacy had often been weak, its temporal authority defied with impunity, so that in the course of time, ambitious wealthy families had gained the control of affairs in most of these cities and ruled them as their own. Such were the Polentani in Ravenna, the Malatesta in Rimini, the Baglioni in Perugia, and the Bentivogli in Bologna. Toward the close of the fifteenth century and the beginning of the Sixteenth, there came to the Papal throne a series of strong, able, warlike Pontiffs bent upon wresting these cities from the hands of the usurping lords. Such were Sixtus IV, Alexander VI, and Julius II. The last, a fierce old warrior priest succeeded in ousting Giovanni Bentivoglio from Bologna, and sending him in full flight to a place of safety. Giovanni found a secure refuge in Milan, then at the height of its glory under the Sforza dukes. Florence itself, under her munificent Medici, could hardly vie for magnificence and culture with the Milan of Duke Ludovico II Moro, to bask in whose sympathetic patronage, architects, artists, sculptors, and men of letters hurried from all Italy.

Giovanni Bentivoglio turned quite naturally to Duke Ludovico for help and a haven, since his wife was of the Sforza family, and his son, Alessandro, had married another of the house. Giovanni was now well on in years and in declining health. Nevertheless, he was reluctant to surrender Bologna to the Pope, and sent his son, Alessandro, to France to try to win Louis XII to the Bentivoglio cause. Alessandro was entirely unsuccessful in this attempt, and while absent in France, his father Giovanni died. They buried him in the church of San Maurizio quite close to his habitation, a church often called the church of the Great Monastery, because attached to it was a big convent for nuns with many buildings and extensive gardens. Some years later the beautiful daughter of Alessandro Bentivoglio took the veil and entered the convent of San Maurizio as Sister Alessandra. Of course the interest of the Bentivogli in this establishment was now great. The church had become ruinous; an architect named Giovanni Dolcebuono was commissioned by the convent to rebuild it, and Alessandro Bentivoglio, the deprived Duke of Bologna took upon himself the burden of decorating the interior of the edifice where his father lay in his tomb, and where his daughter was to worship every day as a nun. He summoned to him a painter whose name just then was golden in Milan – Bernardino Luini – and bade him cover the walls of the new building with frescoes, and Luini painted on the walls of San Maurizio some of his most delightful works.

Every stone of the Great Convent has been swept away; streets of close set buildings now cross and re-cross the site of the gardens where Sister Alessandra used to walk, but the church still remains intact, a thing of beauty. It is rather like a large hall than a church, for it has no side aisles, only a series of flanking chapels. Every inch of the church is covered with frescoes; walls, ceiling, galleries, chapels; and most of them are from the hand of Luini. But we are not in search of Luinis. We are after Saint Apollonia, and we shall not have much difficulty in finding her. This is a nun’s church. Therefore, midway of it, a partition wall rises almost to the vaulting, separating that part of the building open to the general public from the portion reserved exclusively for the worship of the nuns and the convent. It is on this partition wall against which stands the High Altar, that we discover the great Luinis in all their gay, clear colors, and their serene beauty. The altar piece is not by Luini, but everything above it and on either side is his.

Look to the left, first. We see let into the wall the tabernacle in which the Blessed Sacrament is reserved. On either side of it stands a saint. Such saints as would grace any paradise. Saint Cecilia has her head crowned with roses, Saint Ursula is crowned with a golden diadem, for she was a royal Breton princess; a sword is thrust into her breast. Above the tabernacle, within a semi-circular lunette kneels Alessandro Bentivoglio, the donor of the frescoes, magnificently arrayed in his ducal robes. He holds his missal reverently in his hand, and about him stand three saints; Saint Benedict with long white beard – for this great convent is a Benedictine foundation; and the two Saint Johns, the Baptist and Evangelist, perhaps placed here in compliment to Alessandro’s father, Giovanni. The Baptist has his little white lamb along with him.

Now turn to the right side of the altar. In the place corresponding to that occupied by the tabernacle on the opposite wall, is a figure of the Risen Christ. Beside him stand two other saints, sisters in sweet sanctity to Cecilia and Ursula. One of them is Lucia, with her two tortured eyes stuck into a sort of sharp bodkin; the other is Apollonia with her forceps and tooth, and a book, – for she was a teacher – and also her martyr’s palm. This Apollonia is certainly a figure of dignity and beauty worth going far to see. In the lunette above, a lady kneels, plainly a great lady, for look at her sumptuous robe of white brocade that sweeps and billows about her, and swells into more than ample sleeves. This is Alessandro’s wife, Ippolita Sforza. A Benedictine nun stands hovering over her, a white dove perched on her shoulder. This nun pretends to be Saint Scholastica, the sister of Saint Benedicti, but she is young and pretty, and is in reality none other than Sister Alessandra Bentivoglio, daughter of the kneeling Ippolita. These two ladies are supported by Saint Catherine with her wheel, and Saint Agnes with her white lamb, which balances very neatly the lamb of the Baptist across the altar.

If you pass through this partition wall into the nun’s church, back of it you will find preserved on that side, about the nun’s High Altar, other life size figures of saints, and among them another fine Saint Apollonia.

In the year 1525, Luini while in Milan accidentally killed a man. The details of the affair are not known, but the artist fled from the city pursued by the officers of the law. Some thirteen miles north of Milan on the road to Como is a small town called Saronno, nowadays famous for a certain sort of gingerbread called Amaretti. In Saronno was a pilgrimage church dedicated to the Virgin, and known as the Sanctuary of the Holy Virgin. It possessed the right of sanctuary for criminals; once inside the sacred bounds no constable or bailiff could touch them. Here Luini not only found a safe refuge, but employment as well, for the monks set him to work to decorate their choir walls, paying him thirty cents a day, together with a daily portion of food and wine. This seems to us niggardly remuneration for a Luini, but he was apparently amply satisfied, for he not only covered the choir and its chapels with scenes from the life of Mary, but before he left this asylum he painted for the monks as a gift, a Nativity, which was so beautiful that the good brothers exclaimed it was a pity Luini did not murder more men. This Nativity has vanished from Saronno, but we can still see Luini’s scenes from the Virgin’s story on the choir wall, and, besides these, “In the choir apse are two charming life size figures of saints, one of them Saint Catherine, the other Saint Apollonia.

If we had not already been to San Maurizio we should think no Apollonia could be more sweetly beautiful than this one who stands here gently contemplating us, the forceps and tooth in one hand, the palm of martyrdom in the other. Her golden hair ripples down from beneath a sort of turban, appropriate to an oriental saint. She is quite as lovely as the Milan Apollonia but lacks her majesty.
Saint Apollonia did not wholly perish from the earth when the fires of Alexandria consumed her body in the year 250. Fragments of her head and teeth were rescued from the ashes by devout disciples, and today her relics are scattered throughout Europe; stray bits of her have even reached America. Her head is in the ancient Basilica of Santa Maria in Trastevere at Rome, Cardinal Gibbon’s parish church or titular, for every Cardinal has his own church in the Eternal City. Her arms are in another old Roman church, Saint Lawrence, outside the walk; and part of her jaw is preserved in San Basilio also in Rome. There are teeth or pieces of them in churches at Naples, Volterra, Bologna. Antwerp, Brussels, Malines, Liege, and in five different churches in Cologne; and on this side of the Atlantic, as I have said, the celebrated pilgrimage church of Saint Anne de Beaupré, near Quelle, is said to possess a portion of her jaw.

She is not needed now, this saint of Egypt, as in those hard old days of yore, but let us hope her relics are not entirely unvisited. Doubtless many a remote or pious toothache she still helps to cure. Surely it should not be difficult for any man or woman, with or without a toothache, to offer up a prayer or two to a saint of such gracious, gentle, charm as the Apollonia of Bernardino Luini.

– Henry A Kelley, DMD, Portland, Maine; from The Journal of the National Dental Association, 1919



Saint Apollonia, patron saint of odontology
Anna Lantz

Hagströmer Library, Karolinska Institutet, Stockholm, Sweden

Saint Apollonia was from a Greek family and lived in Alexandria, where she was martyred in the year 249 for refusing to renounce her Christian faith. On having her teeth pulled out and jaw shattered, she threw herself into the pyre that had been lit for her.[1] During the Middle Ages she was one of several patron saints of diseases (sjukdomshelgon)[2] who would be invoked for protection against a disease or pain in a part of the body that reflected their martyrdom. People would therefore pray to Saint Apollonia when suffering from dental problems or toothache.[3] Her cult spread from Alexandria across western Christendom, where altars and churches were dedicated to her and her relics were worshipped.[4] Icons of Apollonia served as reminders of her sacrifice and as a focus of prayer.[5] She is easily recognized by her attributes: a halo and palm frond – designating her martyrdom – along with a pair of pincers holding a tooth and a pyre. Saints’ days were very important to the early church, and Saint Apollonia’s feast day was celebrated on February 9th.[6]

Possibly the oldest known image of Apollonia can be found in the Wessler collection in the Hagströmer Library, Karolinska Institutet. The picture is from an old parchment breviary (a kind of prayer book) created in a Dominican monastery in Flanders around the year 1400.[7] The execution is very lavish, with handwritten text and decoration and details picked out in gold. The picture of Apollonia is contained within the initial letter of the prayer Virgo Apollonia.

[1] Eusebius av Caesarea, Eusebii Pamfili Kyrkohistoria VI (1877) 239.

[2] Wessler, John, Beskrivande förteckning över Tandläkarinstitutets i Stockholm Apollonia-samling (Stockholm, 1923) 8.

[3] Henriksson, Carl O, ” S:ta Apollonia, martyr och skyddshelgon”, Svensk medicinhistorisk tidskrift vol. 1 suppl. 1 (1997) 145.

[4] Trönnberg, Gunnar, ”S:ta Apollonia av Alexandria, tandläkarnas skyddshelgon”, Odontologiska Föreningens Tidskrift nr 1 (1943) 11.

[5] Henriksson, Carl O, ” S:ta Apollonia, martyr och skyddshelgon”, Svensk medicinhistorisk tidskrift vol. 1 suppl. 1 (1997) 147.

[6] Farmer, David Hugh, The Oxford Dictionary of Saints (Oxford, 1992) 28.

[7] Wessler, John, Beskrivande förteckning över Tandläkarinstitutets i Stockholm Apollonia-samling (Stockholm, 1923) 10.

ANNA LANTZ, BA in art history, is Assistant Curator at the Hagströmer Medico-Historical Library in Stockholm.



Statues de sainte Apolline et ses bourreaux, bois peint, vers 1560, 
Scrignac, ancienne chapelle de Coat-Quéau, Musée départemental breton de Quimper

Sant' Apollonia Vergine e martire


Alessandria d’Egitto, † 249 ca.

Visse nel III secolo dedicandosi completamente all’apostolato. Durante un massacro di cristiani fu catturata: per la sua determinazione e il coraggio dimostrato la minacciarono di bruciarla viva. San Dionigi narra che la vergine Apollonia temendo di non avere le forze per sopportare una simile tortura si gettò nel fuoco di sua spontanea volontà.

Patronato: Dentisti, Malattie dei denti

Etimologia: Apollonia = sacra ad Apollo, dal latino

Emblema: Giglio, Palma, Pinze

Martirologio Romano: Ad Alessandria d’Egitto, commemorazione di sant’Apollonia, vergine e martire, che dopo molte e crudeli torture ad opera dei suoi persecutori, rifiutandosi di proferire parole sacrileghe, preferì essere mandata al rogo piuttosto che rinnegare la fede.

È stata tale la devozione per la santa martire Apollonia, protettrice dei denti e delle relative malattie, che dal Medioevo in poi si moltiplicarono i suoi denti-reliquie miracolosi, venerati dai fedeli e custoditi nelle chiese e oratori sacri dell’Occidente; al punto che papa Pio VI (1775-1799), che era molto rigido su queste forme di culto, fece raccogliere tutti quei denti che si veneravano in Italia, raccolti in un bauletto e pesanti circa tre kg e li fece buttare nel Tevere.


Questo episodio ci aiuta a capire quanta impressione, meraviglia e ammirazione, suscitò il martirio della santa nel mondo cristiano, per i suoi aspetti singolari.


Il suo martirio è riportato dallo storico Eusebio di Cesarea (265-340), che nella sua “Historia Ecclesiastica” scritta nel terzo secolo, trascrive un brano della lettera del vescovo s. Dionigi di Alessandria († 264), indirizzata a Fabio di Antiochia, in cui si narrano alcuni episodi dei quali era stato testimone.


Nell’ultimo anno dell’impero di Filippo l’Arabo (243-249), nonostante che in quel periodo di sei anni, ci fu praticamente una tregua nelle persecuzioni anticristiane, scoppiò nel 248 ad Alessandria d’Egitto una sommossa popolare contro i cristiani, aizzata da un indovino alessandrino.


Molti seguaci di Cristo furono flagellati e lapidati, al massacro non sfuggirono nemmeno i più deboli; i pagani entrarono nelle loro case saccheggiando tutto il trasportabile e devastando le abitazioni.


Durante questo furore sanguinario dei pagani, fu presa anche la vergine anziana Apollonia, definita da Eusebio “parthenos presbytès”, che però nell’iconografia sacra, come tutte le sante vergini, è raffigurata in giovane età e le colpirono le mascelle facendole uscire i denti, oppure come la tradizione ha riportato, le furono strappati i denti con una tenaglia.


Poi acceso un rogo fuori la città, la minacciarono di gettarcela viva, se non avesse pronunziato insieme a loro parole di empietà contro Dio.


Apollonia chiese di essere lasciata libera un momento e una volta ottenuto ciò, si lanciò rapidamente nel fuoco venendo incenerita.


L’episodio sarebbe avvenuto alla fine del 248 o inizio 249, quindi Apollonia che era in età avanzata, doveva essere nata negli ultimi anni del II secolo o al principio del III secolo; nella sua lettera il vescovo s. Dionigi afferma, che la sua era stata una vita degna di ogni ammirazione e forse per questa condotta esemplare e per l’apostolato che doveva svolgere, si scatenò la furia dei pagani, che infierirono su di lei con particolare crudeltà.


Il gesto di Apollonia di gettarsi nel fuoco, pur di non commettere un peccato grave, suscitò fra i cristiani ed i pagani di allora, una grande ammirazione e nei secoli successivi fu oggetto di considerazione dottrinale.


Eusebio e Dionigi non accennano a nessun rimprovero per il suo gesto considerato un suicidio, peraltro inspiegabile in quanto la vergine sarebbe stata condannata comunque al rogo, se non avesse abiurato la fede.


Forse volle sottrarsi ad ulteriori dolorosissime torture, che avrebbero potuto indebolire la sua volontà, preferendo gettarsi fra le fiamme.


Anche s. Agostino nella sua “De civitate Dei”, si pone delle domande sul problema se è lecito darsi volontariamente la morte per non rinnegare la fede; egli dice: “Non è meglio compiere un’azione vergognosa, da cui è possibile liberarci col pentimento, più che un misfatto che non lascia spazio ad un pentimento che salvi?”.


Ma il suicidio volontario di alcune sante donne, che in “tempo di persecuzione si gettarono in un fiume per sfuggire chi insidiava la loro castità”, lo lasciava perplesso e se non fosse stato Dio stesso ad ispirare il gesto? Quindi non sarebbe stato un errore ma un’obbedienza. In definitiva s. Agostino non prende una decisa posizione sull’argomento.


Comunque sin dal primo Medioevo il culto per la martire di Alessandria, si diffuse prima in Oriente e poi in Occidente; in varie città europee sorsero chiese a lei dedicate, a Roma ne fu edificata una, oggi scomparsa, presso S. Maria in Trastevere; la diffusione del culto fu dovuta anche alla leggenda, simile ad altre sante giovani martiri, di essere figlia di un re che la fece uccidere perché non abiurava la fede cristiana.


La sua festa sin dall’antichità si celebra il 9 febbraio; santa Apollonia, vergine e martire di Alessandria d’Egitto è invocata in tutti i malanni e dolori dei denti; il suo attributo nell’iconografia è una tenaglia che tiene stretto un dente.


Autore: Antonio Borrelli