Saint Apollonia of Alexandria
Saint and Martyr († 249)
Feastday: February 12
Apollonia was an elderly deaconess and lived a virgin for Christ's sake in Alexandria, Egypt. She was a Christian and refused to return to the pagan faith of the Romans. Apollonia had dedicated her life to Christ, distributing alms to the poor, caring for the sick, and was known for her piety - a risky decision in the time she lived.
When Apollonia was about 50 years old, another Christian persecution broke out. This happened under Emperor Decius (249-251).
She was captured by the pagans at the time of the Roman soldier Emperor Decius, because she did not want to renounce her faith.
Legend has it that Bishop Dionysius of Alexandria testified to the mob knocked her teeth out. Another version of her passion states that an executioner ripped out all her teeth.
Then they started to set up a funeral pyre and threatened to burn her alive. Apollonia asked for some time to think. The executioners thought she would change her mind and released her bonds. Apollonia herself then jumped into the fire and was martyred. In this way, she wanted to show everyone that her love for God was so great that she was willing to give her life for Him voluntarily.
She died in the year 249 in Alexandria, Egypt.
Saint Apollonia is considered the patroness of the dentists and was invoked against toothaches.
Saint Apollonia has been depicted since the 16th century with a pair of pliers and a molar as an attribute.
Meaning of the name Apollonia:
The name Apollonia comes from the Greek and means: He or she who is devoted to the God of Light Apollo.