Saint of the Day for 08 July: Saints Aquila and Priscilla
The couple who lit the path of faith
Aquila and Priscilla
Married and martyrs, disciples of St Paul
We thank You, Lord, for the friends of the Apostle Paul: Aquila and Priscilla were a couple who gave everything to You and devoted themselves entirely to spreading Your Gospel. While maintaining their professional responsibilities, they opened their home to all people eager to know the Lord Jesus. Our generation is eager to see the practical witness of men and women, of couples and families living the Gospel; Help us Lord in our days; make us realise that we can be proof that living our days, our actions according to Your Word, transforms existence and gives true happiness.
The Saint and Mission
According to the book of the Acts of the Apostles, Saint Aquila and Prisca were companions of Paul during his ministry in Ephesus. After spending time in Athens, Paul came to Ephesus and met this couple. Saint Aquila was a tent maker by trade, and Paul worked with him for a time. During this time, Saint Aquila and Prisca accompanied Paul and supported him in his missionary work in Ephesus (Acts 18:18-19).
In addition, Saint Aquila and Prisca were involved in the instruction of a man called Apollos. Apollos was an eloquent and educated Alexandrian orator, but he did not fully know the Gospel of Jesus Christ. Saint Aquila and Prisca took him under their guidance and expounded the way of the Lord to him more accurately (Acts 18:26).
During Paul’s third missionary journey, St Aquila and Prisca hosted him again for three years. During this time, their house became a meeting place for the Christian community of Ephesus (1 Corinthians 16:19).
The missionary commitment of St Aquila and Prisca testifies to their active role in spreading the Gospel and the work of evangelisation. Their willingness to help Paul and instruct other believers shows their dedication and desire to share the good news of Jesus Christ.
The Saint and Mercy
Aquila and Priscilla are two important figures in early Christianity and are mainly mentioned in the Acts of the Apostles in the New Testament of the Bible. Their lives certainly reflect the importance of the spiritual work of mercy of forgiving offences and patiently enduring harassing people, although there is no specific reference to this work of mercy in scripture.
Aquila and Priscilla, were people of faith who also shared the same profession: they were blacksmiths or tentmakers. When Emperor Claudius expelled the Jews from Rome around AD 49 or 50, Aquila and Priscilla left the city and settled in Corinth.
Subsequently, the Saints left Corinth again, probably due to persecution under Emperor Nero, and moved to Ephesus, another important city of ancient Greece. Even in Ephesus, they continued to be active in the spread of Christianity and the work of hospitality. They are mentioned in several of Paul’s letters, such as in the First Letter to the Corinthians and the Epistle to the Romans, as his co-workers and dear friends.
The lives of Aquila and Priscilla are an example of their commitment to great mercy.
These two newlyweds (Aquila was a Jew originally from Pontus who transplanted to Rome, while Prisca, also known as Priscilla, was Roman) converted to Christianity, were very close to St Paul the Apostle and were his collaborators in spreading the Gospel. They had been driven out of Rome by an edict of the emperor Claudius expelling the Jews, and had come to settle in Corinth. Here Paul met them on his arrival in the city in 50: “he settled in their house and worked”; by trade they were tent weavers. When Paul went to Ephesus, around the year 54, they both accompanied him. The Christians gathered in their house, as the Apostle himself points out: ‘They greet you greatly in the Lord Aquila and Prisca, with the congregation that gathers in their house’. And they too, in Ephesus, completed the Christian education of Apollo . Around 57 they returned to Rome, as Paul again attests: ‘Greet Prisca and Aquila, my co-workers in Christ Jesus’. He adds, alluding to events otherwise unknown, ‘to save my life, they risked their heads, and to them I am not only grateful, but…