Today’s Saint

Daily Journey with the Saints

May 12 | Lay Down Your Life

Saints Nereus and Achilleus

A.D. (Unknown)–98

We all lay our lives down for something.

What are you laying your life down for? Are you doing it intentionally or unconsciously? 

Saints Nereus and Achilleus were ready to lay down their lives for the Roman Emperor. Then they decided to lay down their lives for Jesus.

Serving within the Roman military, Nereus and Achilleus were participants in the might and glory of the Roman Empire. We don’t know what caused their conversion, but they suddenly and joyfully began to serve a different glory: the glory of Jesus Christ. They resigned from the army and converted to Christianity, but that didn’t mean their battle was over. They were now soldiers in God’s spiritual kingdom. And this meant laying down their own lives for the truth. 

Saints Nereus and Achilleus were arrested and executed for their faith. But even before they were executed, they had laid down their lives for Jesus. And this is what He tells us to do.

“No one has greater love than this: that he lay down his life for his friends.” (John 15:13)

Laying down your life doesn’t have to mean literally dying. Some people lay down their lives by working hard and making sacrifices to support their families. Some people lay down their lives in defense of goodness and freedom. Some people lay down their lives in service to God and His people. Some lay down their lives in service to the poor. Others lay down their lives by spending their lives serving others through their professional calling. Some lay down their lives to raise their children. 

Most of us lay down our lives for some combination of causes, some better than others. Most of us lay down our lives driven by a variety of motives, some born of love and others distorted by selfishness. 

The point is, you are going to lay down your life, you are laying down your life. We all spend our lives for a cause. Today is a day to reflect, to consider who and what you are laying your life down for, to make the necessary adjustments, and to plead with Jesus for the grace to lay down our lives lovingly and heroically. 

What, or who, are you willing to lay down your life for?


I will lay down my life for Jesus, in big ways and small.

This reflection is brought to you from book title.

Feast Day: May 12

Feast Day Shared By: Saint Pancras and Saint Germanus of Constantinople

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