Saint Apollonia (died 249.)

Apollonia was born in Egypt in the 3rd century and was living as a deaconess in Alexandria when all hell broke loose. These were troubling times for devout Christians (actually, when you think about it, the 3rd century had to have been pretty troubling for everyone.) Under the reign of Emperor Philip, most Christians fled the city and abandoned all possessions and property to escape persecution.

Angry Pagans began to riot and violently seized poor Apollonia. They began beating her, knocking out and breaking all of her teeth. Despite the torture, Apollonia would not renounce her faith. The men lit a giant fire and threatened to burn her alive if she did not curse her God. Instead, she jumped up and ran to the flames voluntarily.

Believe it or not, parts of her jaw and several of her teeth are currently kept in churches  throughout Europe.

She was an elderly woman when she died, but most depictions have her as young and beautiful. Paintings throughout history have her holding pincers with a tooth or wearing a gold tooth necklace.

Feast Day: February 9th.

Patron Saint of dental diseases, dentists.