Sunday, July 12, 2015

St. Apollonia

In the National Gallery, there stood sweet St. Apollonia, a virgin martyr, holding her pincers to her chest in this painting by Lucas Cranach the Elder. In the pincers is one of her teeth, violently pulled as part of her torture in 249 AD. The Romans demanded she renounce her Christianity and when she withstood the brutal extractions and wouldn't comply, they built a fire and threatened to burn her alive if she persisted. She voluntarily jumped into the fire and died.

Torture by dentistry immediately brings to mind "The Running Man" when Dustin Hoffman is tortured (by a dental probe in a cavity) to answer the question, "Is it safe?" 

Apollonian became the patron saint of dentistry and those suffering from toothache. I found a dental clinic named St. Apollonia and given those pincers and her suffering, I can't imagine why anyone would want to name a clinic after her. Why not name it the Little Shops of Horrors Dental Clinic?
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