Commemorated on July 14
It is possible, that he was a disciple of the Apostle
Paul, a native of Pontus and a Jew, living in the city of Rome with his wife
Priscilla (Comm. 13 February). During the reign of the emperor Claudius (41-54)
all the Jews were banished from Rome. Saint Aquilla and his wife were compelled
to leave. They settled in Corinth. A short while afterwards the holy Apostle
Paul arrived there from Athens preaching the Gospel. Having made the
acquaintance of Aquila, he began to live at his house and laboured together
with him over the making of tents.
Baptism from the Apostle Paul, Aquila and Priscilla bacame his devoted and
zealous disciples. They accompanied the apostle to Ephesus. The Apostle Paul
instructed them to continue the preaching of the Gospel at Ephesus, and he
himself set off to Jerusalem, in order to be present there for the feast of
Pentecost. At Ephesus Aquila and Priscilla heard the bold preaching of a
new-comer from Alexandria, the Jew Apollos, who had been instructed in the
fundamentals of the faith, but knew only the baptism of John the ForeRunner
[i.e. John the Baptist]. They called him over to themselves and explained more
precisely about the way of the Lord.
After the death of
the emperor Claudius, Jews were permitted to return to Italy, and Aquila and
Priscilla then returned to Rome. The Apostle Paul in his Epistle to the Romans
recollects about his faithful disciples: "Greet Priscilla and Aquila, my
co-workers in Christ Jesus, who put forth their heads for my soul, whom I do
not alone thank, but also all the Church of the Gentiles and the church of
their household" (Rom. 16: 3-4). Saint Aquila did not long dwell in Rome:
the Apostle Paul made him a bishop in Asia. Saint Aquila zealously laboured at
preaching the Gospel in Asia, Achaeia and Herakleia: he converted pagans to
Christ, he confirmed in the faith newly-converted Christians, he established
presbyters and destroyed idols. Saint Priscilla constantly assisted him in the
apostolic work. Saint Aquila finished his life a martyr: pagans murdered him.
According to the tradition of the Church, Saint Priscilla was killed together
© 1996-2001 by translator Fr. S. Janos.