Antiquarium Arborense - Museo archeologico Giuseppe Pau OristanoAntiquarium Arborense - Museo archeologico Giuseppe Pau Oristano

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Antiquarium Arborense
Piazza Corrias, 09170 Oristano - Tel: 0783 791262 -

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The story of Saint Apollonia

Saint Apollonia

18 gennaio 2021

Today we talk about the retablo of the Holy Christ, on display at the Antiquarium Arborense.

"Retablo" is a Spanish term that comes from Latin retro tabula altaris, meaning behind the main altar of the church.
In this impressive altarpiece, made in 1533 by the painter Pietro Cavaro from Cagliari, the protagonist is Saint Francis of Assisi receiving the stigmata, the wounds that Christ had on his hands, feet and side.
Saint Francis is surrounded by several saints related to Franciscan tradition, and among them we find Saint Apollonia 
of Alexandria, and we know she was a martyr because she holds a palm leaf, a symbol of victory over sin and death.
But she also has another attribute that reminds us of how she suffered and how she was killed: she is holding a pair of pincers and a tooth.

In fact, in 249 A.D., during a popular revolt against Christians, she refused to utter ìmpious words against God and so she had her teeth pulled out; then, perhaps fearing that further torture might have shaken her faith, she threw herself onto the stake.

So, it’s no surprise that Apollonia is the patron saint of dental diseases as well as dentists!


Click here to watch the video about Saint Apollonia

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© Antiquarium Arborense - Museo archeologico Giuseppe Pau Oristano
Piazza Corrias, 09170 Oristano  |   Tel: 0783 791262  | ConsulMedia 2012

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