Updated: May 12
Saints Nereus and Achilleus were two early Christian martyrs who were put to death for their faith in Rome during the reign of Emperor Diocletian in the early 4th century. They are remembered as courageous witnesses to the Christian faith and are celebrated as saints in both the Roman Catholic Church and the Eastern Orthodox Church.
According to tradition, Nereus and Achilleus were Roman soldiers who were converted to Christianity by St. Peter the Apostle. After their conversion, they left the military and became missionaries, preaching the Gospel and converting others to the faith.
Their newfound faith, however, did not go unnoticed. As persecution of Christians grew more intense under Diocletian, Nereus and Achilleus were arrested and brought before the emperor. Despite being offered the opportunity to renounce their faith and avoid execution, they remained steadfast in their beliefs and were put to death by beheading.
Their martyrdom is a reminder of the cost of discipleship and the ultimate sacrifice that some are willing to make for their faith. Nereus and Achilleus were willing to give up everything, even their own lives, in order to follow Christ and bear witness to his truth.
As Christians, we are called to follow the example of these martyrs, to remain steadfast in our beliefs and to be willing to make sacrifices for the sake of the Gospel. The courage and faith of Nereus and Achilleus inspire us to persevere in the face of opposition and persecution, and to stand up for what we know to be true, even when it is difficult or unpopular.
May the intercession of Saints Nereus and Achilleus strengthen us in our faith and help us to remain steadfast in our commitment to Christ, even in the face of adversity. May their example inspire us to live our lives with courage, faith, and self-sacrifice, always bearing witness to the truth of the Gospel.