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SAINTE APOLLONIA: In the third century, the emperor Decius promulgated an edict to compel all citizens to offer sacrifices to the gods for the Empire. Christians who refused to submit were persecuted by the pagans. Apollonia, who was part of a group of consecrated virgins, was among the victims. They smashed her jaw and broke her teeth. She was placed in front of a bonfire and told she would be thrown into it if she would not insult Christ. Refusing, she threw herself into the fire.

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