Aquila and Priscilla, the Husband and Wife Who Helped St. Paul

The feast day of the saintly married couple is July 8.

St. Paul at the house of Aquila and his wife Priscilla. The family makes tents as St. Paul writes at the desk.
St. Paul at the house of Aquila and his wife Priscilla. The family makes tents as St. Paul writes at the desk. (photo: Engraving by J. Sadeler after Jodocus Winghe. CC BY 4.0, via Wikimedia Commons / Engraving by J. Sadeler after Jodocus Winghe. CC BY 4.0, via Wikimedia Commons)

“After this he [Paul] left Athens and went to Corinth. There he met a Jew named Aquila, a native of Pontus, who had recently come from Italy with his wife Priscilla.” ―Acts 18:1–2

We first meet the married couple Aquila and Priscilla (also known as Prisca) in Corinth, when their path providentially crossed with Paul’s. Paul had just left Athens in the midst of his second missionary journey, while Aquila and Priscilla had left Rome due to an eviction of Jews by Emperor Claudius. This wonderful chance meeting gave a great lift to Paul’s works. This married couple gave Paul rest and refuge at their home, and Paul gave Aquila and Priscilla divinely inspired spiritual guidance.

When Paul was done with his work in Corinth, he, Aquila, and Priscilla set sail. They made a stop at Ephesus, where the devout couple decided to stay. Many Ephesians had heard Paul’s wonderful preaching and wanted him to stay as well; however, he felt compelled to move on to Syria. Perhaps Paul’s decision to leave Ephesus behind was based on his confidence in Aquila and Priscilla to effectively advocate the truths of Jesus Christ.

Aquila and Priscilla were indeed valuable evangelizers in Ephesus. They let their house there be used as a place of worship and worked hard to teach the Ephesians of the glory of Christ. One day they came across an influential speaker named Apollos. Apollos had a great understanding of the Old Testament Scriptures, and when he learned of Jesus, he had no doubt that Jesus was the promised Messiah. He used his preaching skills to promote this marvelous news. Aquila and Priscilla heard some of his preaching and realized that although his desires were fervent, he was missing some key points. They kindly assisted Apollos to refine his knowledge, which enabled him to preach more precisely, which he did ― in Ephesus and beyond.

It appears that at some point, Priscilla and Aquila moved back to Rome, for in his Letter to the Romans, Paul expressed appreciation to the couple, mentioning how they had once “risked their necks” for him. Although the specifics of the story are never mentioned, the comment illustrates their keen devotion to Paul’s work.


Six Days with Sts. Aquila and Priscilla 

You can find Sts. Aquila and Priscilla on the July 8 page of the Roman Martyrology. Some might say this husband-and-wife team could be inspiration for married couples. People who host Bible Studies or prayer groups in their homes might also find incentive through Aquila and Priscilla. If you would like to know these two New Testament saints a little better, spend some time pondering the passages below. For each day, read and contemplate a passage and maybe take in some surrounding verses for additional clarity. Write down thoughts that come to mind, and see how Sts. Aquila and Priscilla might hearten your faith journey.

  • Day 1) Acts 18:1–3
  • Day 2) Acts 18:18–20
  • Day 3) Acts 18:24–28
  • Day 4) 1 Corinthians 16:19
  • Day 5) 2 Timothy 4:19
  • Day 6) Romans 16:3–5

This article originally appeared July 8, 2017, at the Register.

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