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On a recent excursion come Quebec i made a visit come Sainte Anne and also you might be certain that one of the points that drew me thither was to watch this section of the jaw that Saint Apollonia. I made a brave effort to locate this item of jaw yet not being a French scholar and also French gift the “official” language at Saint Anne, i was unable to find it. I am very much fear it one of two people is no there or else is no accounted amongst the valued possessions that the church.
Upon my return home, ns concluded come gather with each other the product I have and also present it come the dentist profession. In my find for material I have actually been aided by my friend, Mr. Charles G. Marrett, and the pictures I present I have acquired mostly from friends who have traveled abroad and have been on the outlook for pictures of Saint Apollonia because that me, discovering I to be interested in the subject.
An article on Saint Apollonia showed up in the July, 1913, number of the Dental Brief. This article, however, has many inaccuracies and I additionally believe i can include much to the subject. Dr. Koch, in his History of dentist Surgery, refers to this Saint and a painting of Saint Apollonia was presented come the Philadelphia Academy that Stomatology by Dr. C. N. Pierce in 1900. So much as I understand these room the only references to Saint Apollonia in our dentist literature.
For centuries prior to there was any kind of dental profession, men and also women suffering from toothache had actually been accustomed to contact upon Saint Apollonia to come to their assistance. Poor mortals, that was around all they could do, because that a middle ages toothache to be a nice hopeless affair. If Apollonia decreased to help you, friend might try a charm, or go upon a tiny pilgrimage, however in the end you would probably be quite speedily decreased to the correct remedy that extraction, and be compelled to hunt up some one with a pair that forceps or tweezers – the barber, operated doctor or the blacksmith. Extraction could have to be no laughing issue in those unstable days. Wise and also wealthy people saved up your toothaches till the day came round for among the an excellent annual fairs or markets, and also then had actually their decayed stumps harvested, amid a blare the trumpets, by artists in gorgeous costumes. On such occasions the victim would be further enheartened by a huge and interested concourse of spectators.
But maybe the best thing come do, if Saint Apollonia refused her aid was to seek some monastery and ask the good brothers come take your tooth out. Lock were generally willing to perform so, if approached in the suitable spirit. They maintained up this tooth pulling practice, too, right into quite recent times. Not so really many year ago, if we taken place to be on the Capitoline Hill in ~ Rome on among the suitable days, we should have actually seen a gloomy band of men, women, and children toiling increase the long, steep stairs come the portals that the church the Santa Marie in Araceli, no barefooted or on your knees, but with swollen, aching cheeks, done up in cloths or handkerchiefs, which would certainly be tied in huge disconsolate bow knots in a method no much longer the fashion because that pedestrian toothaches. Top top the upper step a formation of Franciscan friars, forceps in hand, awaited the sufferers, and there ~ above the crest of Araceli’s marble staircase, the populace the Rome, amid much unrestrained and also hearty screeching, to be wont to have their teeth out in ~ the expense of the church.
On the whole, Apollonia does no seem to have actually done she duty an extremely well. Teeth are tolerably scarce in Christian history. Even such an exquisite together King Henry III of France in ~ the height of his fascinations did not possess a this to his name.
We find there space two Saint Apollonias; a genuine one, as historic as Queen Elizabeth or Julius Caesar, and no handsomer; and a legendary one, all youth and grace and also loveliness. And it is the last the artist painted, and the toothache patients invoked. Return so much as she go the genuine Apollonia is extremely authentic, we have actually only a few details concerning her. We know that she stayed in Alexandria, and that ~ above February 9th of the year 250, throughout the persecution of the christians ordered by the Emperor Decius, she was cruelly torture by having her teeth knocked out, and also then was melted to death. Together everybody knows, one of the chef authorities for the background of the beforehand Christian Church is the Ecclesiastical history of Eusebius, Bishop that Caesarea in the fourth century. If we revolve to book VI, chapter 41, that this occupational we shall uncover there a letter native Dionysius, Bishop that Alexandria, created to Fabius, Bishop the Antioch, which gives an account the the Decian persecution at Alexandria, and additionally tells united state all we really know of Saint Apollonia. Because it is her only historic document, we will quote the portions which relate come her:
“The persecution through us walk not start with the royal edict, however preceded the a whole year. And a specific prophet and also poet excited the massive of the heathen against us, stirring them up to their indigenous superstition. Created by him, and also taking full liberty to exercise any kind the wickedness, they taken into consideration this the only means of showing their piety – to slay us. First, then, seizing a specific aged man, called Metras, they referred to as on him come utter impious expressions, and as that did no obey, they beat his body with clubs, and pricked his face and eyes; after ~ which castle led him far to the suburbs, wherein they stoned him.”
The letter then relates how they additionally maltreated and also stoned a woman named Quinta and continues:
“Then v one accord, all rushed upon the dwellings of the pious, and whomsoever that their next-door neighbors they knew, they drove thither in every haste, and despoiled and also plundered them, setting apart the much more valuable the the articles for themselves; yet the much more common and also wooden furniture castle threw around and scorched in the roads, presenting a sight favor a city bring away by the enemy. They additionally seized the admirable virgin Apollonia, climate in progressed age, and beating her jaws, they damaged out every her teeth, and kindling a fire prior to the city, endangered to burn her alive, uneven she would repeat your impious expressions. She appeared at first to shrink a little, however when endured to go, she all of sudden sprang right into the fire and was consumed.”
That is every our actual understanding of Saint Apollonia and it is surely sufficiently pathetic and also deplorable.
She was promptly canonized, and also took she place amongst the noble army of martyrs, however one deserve to readily guess the “an admirable virgin in progressed age” would not be so renowned with painters and writers of spiritual poetry and also afflicted devotees as something younger and an ext romantic. Therefore, it is not surprising that “the admirable virgin in advanced age” thrived steadily younger and much more beautiful in church tradition and ecclesiastical art, and also as she grew much more attractive, she story became more elaborate. Below it is in that revised and accepted form:
There resided in Alexandria throughout the first half of the 3rd century a an extremely opulent magistrate, that unknown name. He had married a wife whom he loved devotedly, and who love him fondly in return. The only blot on the joy of this pair was the truth that they had no children. They handle earnest and unceasing prayers come Juno, Ceres, Jupiter, every the gods, to grant unto castle a boy or daughter come inherit their substantial wealth, but all without avail. 3 pious pilgrims arrived in Alexandria, and went from residence to house asking alms in the surname of the Redeemer and the Blessed Virgin, his mother, because that they to be tired and hungry. The magistrate’s wife, seated at her home window one day saw them, and also heard your petition at a house throughout the way. Her interest was aroused by their strange words, and also she called to them saying: “What kind of begging is that of yours, and also who room the god in whose name you ask?” Wherefore the pilgrims told her of Christ, His life and also teaching. And she asked castle if the Virgin Mar}’ would hear she if she prayed the a child might be provided her, and also the pilgrims replied that the Virgin would certainly be gracious to she without any kind of doubt. Climate the mam of the magistrate fell on she knees and also prayed long and also fervently come the holy Virgin, and also her inquiry was granted and a daughter was born to her, to who she offered the name of Apollonia.
The child grew into a maiden as lovely and also graceful together a flower, and as an excellent and pure together she was beautiful. The household of a roman inn magistrate quite naturally conformed come the developed religion the the state, however the mom never end to speak to she daughter about the wonderful situations of she birth, and about Christ and the divine Virgin to who she had actually addressed she prayers. Apollonia drank in every the details, and also as she obtained older over there sprang up in her heart a solid desire to be baptized and become a Christian. And Heaven did no leave her helpless. One angel involved her one day and led her out of Alexandria right into the desert to the cell of Leonine, a disciple the Saint Anthony. Apollonia told him her story and also her wish to it is in a Christian, and also Leonine i was baptized her forthwith. Hardly had he excellent so than an additional angel swooped down from Heaven, and throwing a garment of glowing white around Apollonia cried: “This is Apollonia, the maid of Jesus; Go, now, come Alexandria and also preach the confidence of Christ.”
Apollonia returned home filled through ecstasy and also zeal. She went amongst the people and preached come them with wonderful eloquence, making countless converts. Prior to long complaints concerning her and also her doings began to to water in on her father. Why walk he, a roman magistrate, enable his daughter to rest so flagrantly the laws of the Empire?
He, lot disturbed, dubbed Apollonia come him to define her conduct. She defended herself with dignity and fervor, and also still kept on through her preaching and conversions, until her father, next to himself through anger, gave her approximately the roman inn governor come be dealt with as a criminal. The governor ordered she to it is in taken into the temple of among the pagan gods, Serapis, many likely, and bade her fall on she knees prior to the statue that the divine being and adore it. Apollonia flatly refused to comply. She progressed haughtily come the statue, make the sign of the cross, and also commanded the demon within to depart. There was an awful rumble, a crash, a shriek, and also from the broken image the demon fled, crying: “The divine virgin, Apollonia, drives me forth.”
This proceeding offered to send the governor right into a right of violent wrath. In ~ his bidding the girl was bound come a column, and also one by one she beautiful this were every pulled out with a pair the pincers. Then a large fire to be kindled, and, as Apollonia persisted in her faith, she to be flung headlong into the blaze, and there offered up her spirit to God, gift borne to sky by His angels.
Even in the guise of a lovely and romantic maiden Saint Apollonia never attained great vogue. As soon as one compares she to some various other female saints – Cecilia, Catherine, Agnes, Lucia, Agatha, Barbara, Margaret – and thinks of every the multitude that churches and chapels which have been reared to them in plenty of lands, and also the hundreds of paintings of castle which to fill the galleries and ornament the altars the the world, Saint Apollonia’s irradiate 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 to be told or check out of she sufferings, with her teeth, and relied on her sympathy for theirs. The complying with prayer is released in F. Martinez’s book on dentistry published in Valladolid, Spain, in 1557:
Illustrious virgin martyr, Apollonia,Pray to the mr for usLest for our offenses and sins we be punishedBy illness of the teeth.
Another old prayer is the following: “Eternally omnipotent God, because that whose honor blessed Apollonia, virgin and also martyr, steadfastly suffered the horrible crushing-out of her teeth, provide Thou together we desire, the we might be do happy in commemoration of her, thru whose most pious intercession we were freed native toothache and all unavoidable evils. Through Christ our Lord. Amen.” over there is additionally an amusing conversation in Cervantes’ Don Quixote (published in 1615) as follows:
“Be in no ache then,” replied the bachelor, “but go home, in Heaven’s name, and also get something warmth for breakfast, and also on your method repeat the prayer that Saint Apollonia – if you recognize it.”
“Bless me!” responded the housekeeper, “the prayer of Saint Apollonia, to speak you? That can do other if mine master’s distemper laid in his gums, but alas! the is all in his brains.”
There must have been millions of these toothache devotees thru the lengthy centuries, yet they seem on the totality to have actually teen an ungrateful lot, for as soon as their pain stopped or their this were out, castle evidently quite easily forgot your patroness.
There was once in Florence a convent devoted to Apollonia, yet it to be long ago secularized and also is now dedicated to some military purpose. Only its refectory remains intact. There one can see a tiny gallery the paintings, yet Saint Apollonia go not number on any kind of of the canvases.
The pictures of this saint are couple of anywhere. Granny Jameson in her Sacred and also Legendary art names those the were known to her, and couple of things escaped the keen eye of that indefatigable English lady, yet strangely sufficient the Saint Apollonias we know best and think most of, she does not mention, while most of the paintings on her list, i beg your pardon is a brief one, have because her time by factor of sales and many relocations hidden themselves irretrievably native the gaze of the plain tourist. Mrs. Jameson observed a Saint Apollonia by Hemlinck – where she does no say – one by Furini in the Rinuccini royal residence at Florence, one through Granacci in Munich, rather by the same artist in the Academy at Florence, and lastly the saint’s martyrdom through Procaccini in Milan Cathedral. Yet pictures have actually been of late years much bandied around by art critics, shuffled and also dealt about so extensively amongst artists, that what was referred to as a Furini or a Granacci in Mrs. Jameson’s time, may nowadays circulate as an Allori or a Bugiardini. Palaces and also their contents have to be so bought and also sold that the migrations of paintings have been many and also extensive. There are, nevertheless, two or three Saint Apollonias which can be conveniently found and enjoyed.
One artist has actually painted Saint Apollonia come perfection; the is Bernardino Luini, that lived a hundred and fifty years prior to Carlo Dolce, and also did his finest work throughout the very first quarter the the 16 century. Bernardino Luini to be the most commemorated master the the Lombard school. He was born in ~ Luino about 1465. He is just one of the five an excellent painters who “supremacy” Ruskin names. Upon this constantly graceful, always tender, always lovely painter fell some shreds native the mantle of his good master, Leonardo. Saint Apollonia may well rejoice that she uncovered such one artist come portray her, for having actually once be held her as Luini has portrayed her at Milan and Saronno, you feel an affectionate interest in her, though you may not it is in a dentist, or even have a toothache.
Most beautiful of every Saint Apollonias is she of san Maurizio on the Corso Magenta in ~ Milan. There is a little of background connected v her and also her charming sister saints. Early in the 16 century a family members of the name of Bentivoglio were lords the Bologna. Bologna belonged by appropriate to the Popes, together did Ravenna, Forli, Rimini, Perugia, and also many other cities of main Italy, for several hundred years before, Pepin, King that the Franks, had conquered the Lombards and also handed their cities over come Rome. However the hand that the Papacy had frequently been weak, the temporal authority defied with impunity, so that in the food of time, ambitious wealthy households had gained the regulate of affairs in most of this cities and also ruled them as their own. Together were the Polentani in Ravenna, the Malatesta in Rimini, the Baglioni in Perugia, and the Bentivogli in Bologna. Toward the near of the fifteenth century and also the beginning of the Sixteenth, there involved the Papal throne a collection of strong, able, warlike Pontiffs bent upon wresting these urban from the hands of the usurping lords. Together were Sixtus IV, Alexander VI, and Julius II. The last, a fierce old warrior priest prospered in ousting Giovanni Bentivoglio native Bologna, and also sending that in full trip to a location of safety. Giovanni discovered a secure refuge in Milan, climate at the height of its glory under the Sforza dukes. Florence itself, under she munificent Medici, can hardly vie because that magnificence and culture with the Milan of fight it out Ludovico II Moro, to bask in whose sympathetic patronage, architects, artists, sculptors, and men of letter hurried from every Italy.
Giovanni Bentivoglio turned quite naturally to fight it out Ludovico for aid and a haven, since his mam was the the Sforza family, and his son, Alessandro, had actually married one more of the house. Giovanni was currently well top top in years and in declining health. Nevertheless, he was reluctant come surrender Bologna to the Pope, and sent his son, Alessandro, to France to try to success Louis XII come the Bentivoglio cause. Alessandro was completely unsuccessful in this attempt, and also while missing in France, his father Giovanni died. They buried him in the church of san Maurizio rather close come his habitation, a church often dubbed the church that the an excellent Monastery, due to the fact that attached to it was a big convent for nuns with countless buildings and extensive gardens. Part years later on the beautiful daughter that Alessandro Bentivoglio take it the veil and also entered the convent of mountain Maurizio together Sister Alessandra. Of course the attention of the Bentivogli in this facility was now great. The church had become ruinous; an architect called Giovanni Dolcebuono was i was delegated by the convent to rebuild it, and Alessandro Bentivoglio, the deprived duke of Bologna took upon himself the load of decorating the interior of the edifice where his father lay in his tomb, and where his daughter was to prayer every day together a nun. The summoned to him a painter whose name simply then was golden in Milan – Bernardino Luini – and bade that cover the walls of the new building v frescoes, and also Luini painted ~ above the walls of mountain Maurizio some of his many delightful works.
If you pass through this partition wall into the nun’s church, earlier of it friend will find preserved on that side, about the nun’s High Altar, other life size numbers of saints, and amongst them another fine Saint Apollonia.
In the year 1525, Luini if in Milan accidentally killed a man. The details of the affair space not known, however the artist fled native the city sought by the officers of the law. Part thirteen mile north the Milan on the road to Como is a tiny town called Saronno, nowadays famed for a details sort the gingerbread referred to as Amaretti. In Saronno to be a expedition church committed to the Virgin, and known as the Sanctuary of the divine Virgin. It own the ideal of sanctuary for criminals; as soon as inside the spiritual bounds no constable or bailiff might touch them. Below Luini no only uncovered a safe refuge, however employment as well, because that the monks collection him to occupational to decorate their choir walls, payment him thirty cents a day, in addition to a daily portion of food and also wine. This seems to us niggardly remuneration for a Luini, but he was supposedly amply satisfied, for he not just covered the choir and also its chapels with scenes from the life of Mary, but prior to he left this asylum he painted because that the monks as a gift, a Nativity, which to be so beautiful the the great brothers exclaimed it was a pity Luini did not murder much more men. This Nativity has vanished native Saronno, however we can still watch Luini’s scene from the Virgin’s story on the choir wall, and, besides these, “In the choir apse space two charming life size figures of saints, among them Saint Catherine, the various other Saint Apollonia.
Saint Apollonia did no wholly perish native the planet when the fires of Alexandria consumed her body in the year 250. Pieces of her head and teeth were rescued native the ashes by devout disciples, and today her relics space scattered throughout Europe; stray bits of she have also reached America. She head is in the old Basilica the Santa Maria in Trastevere in ~ Rome, Cardinal Gibbon’s parish church or titular, because that every Cardinal has actually his very own church in the Eternal City. Her arms are in an additional old roman inn church, Saint Lawrence, exterior the walk; and component of she jaw is kept in san Basilio also in Rome. There space teeth or pieces of them in churches at Naples, Volterra, Bologna. Antwerp, Brussels, Malines, Liege, and also in five different churches in Cologne; and on this side of the Atlantic, as I have actually said, the commemorated pilgrimage church that Saint anne de Beaupre, close to Quelle, is said to possess a part of her jaw.
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She is not needed now, this saint the Egypt, together in those difficult old work of yore, but let us hope her relics are not entirely unvisited. Doubtless plenty of a remote or pious toothache she still helps to cure. Surely it have to not be daunting for any kind of man or woman, through or there is no a toothache, to market up a prayer or 2 to a saint of together gracious, gentle, charm together the Apollonia the Bernardino Luini.