Neither are the souls of the pious dead separated from the Church which even now is the kingdom of Christ. Otherwise there would be no remembrance of them at the altar of God in the communication of the Body of Christ. -- Saint Augustine of Hippo from “The City of God

Tuesday, October 25, 2005

Saint Apollonia- Virgin and The Martyrs of Alexandria

Saint Apollonia- Virgin and the Martyrs of Alexandria

9th February

Dentists, tooth-disease, toothaches

The year was 249, the place Alexandria. The pagans instigated the persecution of the Christians in the city. An old man, Metras was the first to be killed, his eyes were pierced out and then stoned to death. Quinta was the next to die, she refused to worship the heathen gods and met the same fate.

Saint Apollonia, an aged virgin, lived a life of self-sacrifice and doing works of charity. She fell prey to a mob that was persecuting any Christians they could find. Enraged by her courageous refusal to worship and make sacrifice to their pagan idols, they struck out all of her teeth. They threatened to burn her if she would not renounce Christ; she refused to deny her God. She was so anxious to embrace martyrdom that she tore free from the hands of her tormentors and ran into the flames. The pagans were amazed at the courage this seemingly weak, old, lady had, she was anxious and willing to die for Christ.

The persecution of the Christians continued into the next year. Some cowered in fear and went trembling and pale to make sacrifices to the pagan gods to preserve their lives. However multitudes went willingly to receive their crown of martyrdom.

Lord you showered heavenly gifts on St. Apollonia. Help us to imitate her virtues while on earth. Amen.
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