The dreariest month of the winter season plays host to adorable furry ground hogs and predictions of spring. However, it is most notable for St. Valentine’s Day.
Intriguingly, there were 14 Saints Valentine. Perhaps that is why the 14th was chosen as the feast day. Which saint is associated with hearts, chocolates and greeting cards is not known.
The Saint is the patron of affianced couples, against fainting, beekeepers, happy marriages, love, plague and epilepsy. Most of these could be described as symptoms of being in love. Though I’m not quite sure about the beekeepers…perhaps it’s the honey. Yet, the day offers an excuse for displays of love and affection. I always wondered if the tooth fairy did anything for the day.
February has another Saint’s feast day on the ninth. She is lesser known, but closer to our professional hearts. Saint Apollonia the patron saint of dentists and tooth ache sufferers. She is also the patron of several towns in Europe. The island of Mauritius was originally named for her in 1507.
Egypt about 249 A.D. Andy Warhol, the pop artist, did a series of images
of the Saint. One of them is at the right. The legend varies, but the
essence of her story is that her teeth were knocked out, pulled out,
or broken along with her jaws by a savage crowd.
Based on her story, it is understandable how dental sufferers would
relate to her. Thankfully, there is no need to suffer with dental issues
in today’s world.
So when enjoying your Valentine’s Day sweets, think of Apollonia and show your teeth some love – brush, floss and visit your dentist regularly!