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May 12th - Achilleus and Nereus

Achilleus and Nereus

Died: 100 A.D. (Martyrdom)
Feast: May 12th
Patron: Those Persecuted for their Faith


Living in the 1st Century, there's not much known about these two Saints. Much of what is known is what was written in an epitaph by Pope Damasus I. He explains that these two saints were soldiers who grew tired of being the persecutors. As soldiers they were called by the Roman Empire to be wholly obedient to the will of the emperor. Slowly over time they begin to think for themselves and to really reflect upon what they will leave behind after they're gone. This is when they encounter the Christian faith, not as persecutors, but as inquirers. They want to learn more about Jesus Christ. They eventually are baptized and go from being the persecutors to the persecuted. The story of Achilleus and Nereus seems to mirror that of St. Paul quite a bit.

After refusing to recant their faith, Achilleus and Nereus became martyrs in the year 100 A.D. They were presumably burried in the cemetary on the Adreatine Way and a basilica was built to honor them.


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