Sts. Nereus and Achilleus were Roman soldiers who worked under Emperor Trajan. In 398, Pope Siricius built a church in their honor in Rome. Pope Damasus wrote a brief tribute to the martyrs.
He explained that Sts. Nereus and Achilleus were converted to the Christian faith. They gave up their jobs in the army and left behind their weapons forever. They were true followers of Jesus even at the cost of their own lives.
Around the year 304, Sts. Nereus and Achilleus were exiled (sent away) from Rome to the island of Terracina where they were beheaded. These martyrs willingly died for their faith in Jesus.
Reflection: With the help of the prayers of these three saints, may we understand what it means to be members of the Church of Christ.
Prayer: O God, from whom faith draws perseverance and weakness strength, grant, through the example and prayers of the Martyrs Nereus and Achilleus, that we may share in the Passion and Resurrection of your Only Begotten Son, so that with the Martyrs we may attain perfect joy in your presence. 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.