Nereus and Achilleus were Roman soldiers who worked under Emperor Trajan. In 398, Pope Siricius built a church in their honor in Rome. Pope Damasus wrote a brief tribute to the martyrs.
He explained that Nereus and Achilleus were converted to the Christian faith. They gave up their jobs in the army and left behind their weapons forever. They were true followers of Jesus even at the cost of their own lives.
Around the year 304, Nereus and Achilleus were exiled (sent away) from Rome to the island of Terracina where they were beheaded. These martyrs willingly died for their faith in Jesus.
St. Pancras, a fourteen-year-old orphan, who was not a native of Rome. He was brought there by his uncle who looked after him. He too was converted, became a follower of Jesus and was baptized.
Although just a boy, he was arrested for being a Christian. Pancras refused to give up his faith. For that, he too was killed. Pancras was beheaded but his death which he faced so bravely, won him the admiration of many. Many non-Christians converted and became Catholics.
He became a very popular martyr in the early Church. In 514, a large church was built in Rome to honor him. In 596, the famous missionary, St. Augustine of Canterbury, went to bring the Christian faith to England. He named his first church there after St. Pancras.
With the help of the prayers of these three saints, may we understand what it means to be members of the Church of Christ.