According to Pope St. Damasus, Nereus and Achilleus were Roman soldiers of the 3rd century who became Christians and refused to remain in the service. They were martyred for the Faith and buried in the cemetery of Domitilla on the Via Ardeatina. The bas-relief of Achilleus being stricken is the oldest known representation of martyrdom.
The legendary Acts of these martyrs state on the other hand that they were servant of Flavia Domitilla, a niece of the Emperors Titus and Domitian, who became a Christian. They further relate that she was banished to the island of Pontia and was finally martyred at Terracina together with Nereus and Achilleus.
PRAYER: Lord, we honor Sts. Nereus and Achilleus for their courage in dying to profess their Faith in Christ. May we experience the help of their prayers at the throne of Your mercy. Amen.