Saturday, January 31, 2015

St Apollonia, Patron Saint of Dentists and Teeth Problems

St. Apollonia is the patron saint of dentists.  This was a piece of information I learned in 2005 when I was traveling with my husband to attend an International Dental conference in Baltimore.  It was then that we visited the National Museum of Dentistry.  Upon entering we came upon a large stained glass window depicting St. Apollonia and under her picture it stated she was the patron saint of dentists and her feast day is February 9th.  This was a surprised to both my husband and I as this is my birthday and I am a dentist.  At that phase of my life, I was just finishing residency training in endodontics and was looking forward to a career practicing dentistry.  As it would turn out my path would not lead far from this beautiful saint as the specialty office I joined was under a general dentist's office named: Apollonia Dental. 

A little over a year later I would find that practicing dentistry was no longer possible through a series of joint dislocations in my hands and a new diagnosis of a genetic condition affecting the joints among other things.  As my professional career as a practicing endodontist came to an early end I found myself often thinking of St. Apollonia.  It seemed a wonderful consolation to me that although I had a short career treating patients maybe my career path had somehow been blessed from the beginning.  Through wonderful blessings from Our Lord and the intercession of St. Apollonia despite the deterioration of my hands I still am able to teach part-time in the Endodontic Division at our State Dental School.

Not a great deal is known about St. Apollonia but it is believed that she suffered torture which included blows that broke her teeth.  Yet despite such cruel torture St. Apollonia refused to renounce her faith.  She was martyred in 249.  She is also considered the patron saint of dental disease. 

(credit) Jean Fouquet: The Martyrdom of
St. Apolllonia
As the Feast of St. Apollonia is on February 9th it seemed a perfect time to begin a novena to her for our Children's Rosary intention. I invite others to pray to her as well.  This is an old prayer to St. Apollonia for her intercession:
0 Glorious Apollonia, patron saint of dentistry and refuge to all those suffering from diseases of the teeth, I consecrate myself to thee, beseeching thee to number me among thy clients. Assist me by your intercession with God in my daily work and intercede with Him to obtain for me a happy death. Pray that my heart like thine may be inflamed with the love of Jesus and Mary, through Christ our Lord. Amen. 0 My God, bring me safe through temptation and strengthen me as thou didst our own patron Apollonia, through Christ our Lord. Amen.
(Prayer to St. Apollonia, a Catholic prayer card.)

The Children's Rosary intention is included below.  Tonight I will begin a 9 day novena to St. Apollonia all are welcome to join as well.

May the Children’s Rosary, their families, those associated with the Children’s Rosary including our priests, our Bishop, our Holy Father the Pope be the extended hands of Our Blessed Mother and her Son.  May we gather a great many souls especially young people for the Lord.  May we experience renewal of family prayer and spread it across the globe. In a special way we ask Saint Apollonia to choose an individual, family, or priest associated with our Children’s Rosary group to lead in their spiritual journey.  Dear Saint pray for our extended group that we may embody the virtues you exemplified here on earth. Amen.

Both images taken from Wikimedia commons (free media repository)

1 comment:

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