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Saints Nereus, Achilleus, Domitilla, and Pancras 

Martyrs

Feast Day - May 12



The brothers Nereus and Achilleus were eunuchs of Flavia Domitilla and were baptized by St. Peter at the same time as she herself and her mother Plautilla. Because they persuaded Domitilla to consecrate her virginity to God, they were accused of being Christians by Aurelian, who had been betrothed to her, and were sent to the island of Pontia. Soon afterwards, they were scourged in an effort to make them sacrifice to idols, and were taken to Terracina, where, after they had overcome the torture of the rack and flaming torches, they were beheaded. Their bodies were taken to Rome by their disciple Auspicius and buried on the Ardeatine Way.

As for Flavia Domitilla, who had received the sacred veil of a virgin from Pope St. Clement, she also was deported to the island of Pontia, and after a long imprisonment was taken to Terracina. There, by the judge’s orders, her dwelling was set on fire, and she won a glorious death, along with the virgins Theodora and Euphrosyne, her foster-sisters, on May 7, under Emperor Trajan. Their bodies were buried by the deacon Caesarius.

Pancras, born of a noble Phrygian family, was baptized in Rome at the age of fourteen. Under the Emperors Diocletian and Maximian, he was arrested; and when he firmly refused to sacrifice to the gods, he was beheaded and so won the glorious crown of martyrdom. His body was buried secretly on the Via Aurelia by the matron Octavilla.


Taken from The Hours of the Divine Office in English and Latin, Vol. II: Passion Sunday to August (Collegeville, Minnesota: The Liturgical Press, 1963), pp. 1801-1802


Related Link:

Epistle and Gospel for May 12