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Saint of the Day: Sts Prisca and Aquilla

Leaders and Missionaries in the Early Church

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Companions of Saint Paul (First Century)

Their story

+ The Acts of the Apostles tells us that when Paul left Athens for Corinth, he met Prisca (or Priscilla) and her husband, Aquila, who had recently fled Rome because the Emperor Claudius had ordered the Jews to leave the city.

+ Saint Paul stayed with them in Corinth, working with them as a tentmaker (Acts 18:1-3). The couple later traveled with Paul to Ephesus, where Prisca and Aquila instructed Apollos in the faith (Acts 18:18-19, 24-26).

+ It is clear that Paul held the couple in high regard and it seems they eventually returned to Rome, because in his letter to that city, Paul greets the members of the Church who met in their home (cf. Romans 16:3-5).

+ Although nothing more is known of their lives, it seems that at some point they returned to Ephesus and the Roman Martyrology states that they died in Asia Minor, although a later legend said they were martyred in Rome.

For prayer and reflection

Together with the gratitude of the early Church, of which St Paul speaks, we must also add our own, since thanks to the faith and apostolic commitment of the lay faithful, of families, of spouses like Priscilla and Aquila, Christianity has reached our generation.”—Pope Benedict XVI

Spiritual bonus

On July 8 we also remember Saint Kilian. In 686, Kilian and eleven companions traveled to Rome and received a mandate from the Pope Conon to serve as missionaries in what is now Germany. Kilian criticized a local duke (a Christian convert) for marrying his brother’s widow, Geilana, in violation of Sacred Scripture. Geilana—who had not converted to Christianity—heard of Kilian’s condemnations and sent soldiers to Würzburg to kill Kilian and his two companions on July 8, 689. Saint Kilian is honored as a patron saint of those suffering from rheumatism.

Prayer

Grant, we pray, almighty God, that the example of your Saints may spur us on to a better life, so that we, who celebrate the memory of blessed Prisca and Aquila, may also imitate without ceasing their deeds. Through our Lord Jesus Christ, your Son, who lives and reigns with you in the unity of the Holy Spirit, one God, for ever and ever. Amen.

(from The Roman Missal: Common of Holy Men and Women—For Several Saints)

Saint profiles prepared by Brother Silas Henderson, S.D.S.

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