Saints Aquila and Priscilla
(Commemorated on 13th February)

Saints Aquila and Priscilla were a married Christian couple who lived in the first century. The two tentmakers were close companions and disciples of St Paul, who described them as his “fellow workers in Christ Jesus” (Romans 16:3). In AD 49, Saints Aquila and Priscilla were among the Jews who were expelled from Rome by Emperor Claudius. They made their way to Corinth where they met St Paul who baptised them and lived with them for 18 months. They then travelled with him to Ephesus, where they stayed to support and build the church.

In Ephesus Saints Aquila and Priscilla met the gifted preacher Apollos, and they “explained to him the way of God more accurately” (Acts 18:26). This was no small matter. Apollos was eventually consecrated Bishop of Smyrna, and is commemorated as a Saint in the Orthodox Church. As St Paul himself says, “I planted, Apollos watered, but God gave the increase” (1 Cor. 3:6). Eventually, Saints Aquila and Priscilla returned to Rome in around AD 58, before travelling back to Ephesus. It is likely that they martyred in Ephesus, and tradition holds it that they martyred together. Saints Aquila and Priscilla provide a model for the Christian couple. They showed true partnership in a social context where Greco-Roman tradition considered women to be the property of men.

As a testimony to their partnership, the Saints are only ever mentioned together in the New Testament, and this occurs six times across four books: Acts, Romans, 1 Corinthians and 2 Timothy. They converted many pagans to Christianity and exercised significant leadership amongst the young churches. They also often held church gatherings in their own house (1 Cor. 16:19), demonstrating their hospitality. St Aquila is also traditionally listed among the Seventy Apostles. They are commemorated on 13 February.


Source: Lychnos February/March 2020