- Orthodox/Catholic Remembrance Day: February 9
- Name means: the Greek. Light god dedicated to Apollo (from Greek-Latin)
- Attributes: Pliers with tooth, plunging into the fire
- Patroness: of the dentist, against toothache
- Born in Alexandria, Egypt
- Died in 248 in Alexandria, Egypt
Apollonia was a beloved and esteemed elderly woman residing in the city of Alexandria during a tumultuous period of religious persecution. She and other members of the Christian community were subjected to a brutal pogrom by a frenzied mob who rampaged through their homes, looting and destroying their dwellings. In the chaos, Apollonia was singled out and forcibly taken captive by the angry crowd.
Bishop Dionysius chronicled the horrifying fate that befell Apollonia at the hands of her captors. They mercilessly beat her, knocking out all her teeth and shattering her jaw. Fearing for her life, they demanded she recant her faith, threatening to burn her alive if she refused. However, Apollonia remained resolute and steadfast to the very end, refusing to renounce her beliefs. In a final act of devotion, she willingly threw herself into the flames, chanting her prayers aloud as she burned.
Despite her brutal death, Apollonia’s martyrdom became the stuff of legend, with some accounts claiming that she was of noble Roman birth, perhaps even a daughter or sister to an emperor. Others suggest she may have been a companion to St. Lawrence of Rome and traveled with him to Egypt, where she met her tragic end at the hands of Emperor Julian Apostata. The precise details of Apollonia’s life remain shrouded in mystery, but her unwavering faith and heroism in the face of persecution continue to inspire believers to this day.
Barachiel | Archangel
- Remembrance Day: November 8
Barachiel, a name derived from Hebrew meaning “blessing of God” is among the seven archangels mentioned by name in a variety of apocryphal writings. Although archangels Gabriel, Michael, Raphael, and Uriel are widely acknowledged, three additional archangels, namely Barachiel, Yehudiel, and Sealtiel, are also cited in the Byzantine Orthodox churches’ traditions dating back to the early Middle Ages. It is worth noting that the Western Church does not have a history of venerating Uriel and the angels mentioned above.
In the Book of Enoch, a non-canonical text composed between 130 BC and 68 AD, seven holy angels who remain vigilant at all times are referenced. It was not until the 15th century, however, that the monk Amadeus Menez de Silva described seven archangels, with Barachiel among them. It is important to mention that the spelling of Barachiel’s name also varies, appearing as Barbiel, Barchiel, or Barkiel, while others identify him with an angel named Baraqiel, Baraqel, or Berâkêl mentioned in the Book of Enoch.
In the Christian iconography, Barachiel is commonly portrayed with a white rose or white rose petals on his clothing, which is symbolic of his role as the messenger of God’s blessings. The Orthodox Church considers Barachiel as one of the seven archangels commonly depicted in icon painting. Additionally, Barachiel is known to combat the spirit of apathy, indifference, and lukewarmness, standing as the guardian angel for individuals born on Saturdays, according to Catholic and Orthodox traditions