St. Prisca

Evangelist and Martyr (First Century)
  • Post author:
  • Reading time:2 mins read
You are currently viewing St. Prisca
Black and white etching of St. Aquila and St. Priscilla, His Wife from Wikimedia Commons

St. Prisca was one of a number of women who played prominent roles in the early Church—not simply as “helpers” to the male apostles but as evangelists and Church administrators in their own right. Prisca and her husband, Aquila, were Jewish tentmakers in Corinth. Though originally from Rome, they had, along with all Jews, been expelled from the imperial capital by order of the emperor Claudius. St. Paul met Prisca and Aquila soon after his arrival in Corinth. Their common trade—Paul too was a tentmaker—provided the basis for their acquaintance. But soon, through Paul’s influence, they also shared a common zeal for the Gospel. Their home served as Paul’s base of operations in the city. Before long they were also serving as evangelists, preaching the Gospel to their fellow Jews.  

Prisca and Aquila followed Paul to Ephesus, where they again established a church in their home that included both Gentile and Jewish Christians. Later they returned to Rome and there too established a home church. Paul addressed them in his letter to the Romans as his “co-workers in Christ Jesus.”  

If, in returning to Rome, they had hoped to find greater tolerance under the emperor Nero, they were sorely disappointed. According to tradition, Prisca and Aquila perished in the general persecution around the year 64.  

“Greet Prisca and Aquila, my co-workers in Christ Jesus, who risked their necks for my life, to whom not only I am grateful but also all the churches of the Gentiles; greet also the church at their house.” —St. Paul (Rom 16:3-5) 

© Liturgical Press.

Robert Ellsberg

Robert Ellsberg is the publisher and editor-in-chief of Orbis Books and the author of several award-winning books, including All Saints: Daily Reflections on Saints, Prophets, and Witnesses for Our Time; Blessed Among All Women; and The Saints' Guide to Happiness.

Sign up for our daily prayer emails