Saint Apollonia

During our time in Germany our family took a weekend trip to Prague. Being Becks, we visited churches. One of the churches Brenden and I visited was the Loreta. The Loreta is a famous pilgrimage site.

While Brenden and I were sitting in the Loreta sanctuary looking at the altar I noticed a cherub to the left, holding something aloft.

I peered at the object. Is that what I think it is?

It was.

A pulled tooth.

And the little angel was holding some tongs as well.

What, I wondered, was an angel doing with tongs and holding a pulled tooth aloft?

A little Internet research when we got back to the hotel gave us our answer. The angel was in front of a picture of St. Apollonia.

According to tradition, St. Apollonia was a third-century virgin martyr. Prior to being killed, St. Apollonia was tortured, and a part of her torture involved having her teeth pulled out.

Consequently, iconography of St. Apollonia often has her with tongs holding one of her teeth. As in the picture above.

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