A Handbook of Christian Symbols: Saint Achilleus and Saint Nereus

These are Roman saints, and the church dedicated to them is near the Baths of Caracalla. They were chamberlains of Flavia Domitilla. They persuaded her not to marry Aurelian, the son of the consul, to whom she was betrothed, because he was an idolater. For this they were beheaded. Flavia Domitilla was the grand-niece of the Emperor Domitian. Her parents had been martyred because they were Christians. She also suffered death for the same cause, at Terracina. Nereus and Achilleus are represented in secular habits, standing on each side of Domitilla. She is dressed as a princess. They all bear palms. May 12.