Saint Paul writes in Romans 16:3-5,
“Salute Prisca and Aquila, my helpers in Christ Jesus,
(Who have for my life laid down their own necks: to whom not I only I give thanks, but also all the churches of the Gentiles,)
And the church which is in their house.
When the Jews were expelled from Rome, Paul met and worked with Prisca and her husband Aquila in Corinth (Acts 18: 1-3). He later traveled with them to Ephesus (Acts 18: 18,19). Prisca and Aquila were eventually able to return to Rome.
It is believed that today’s church is built over the house to which Paul is referring in Acts. As a disclaimer, I should mention that some feel the Prisca to whom this church is dedicated and the one mentioned by Paul may be two different people. However, the Vatican states that this was once the home inhabited by Aquila and Prisca. The finding of first century walls marked with the Chi Rho indicate that this is a very early house of worship.
The church was built in the fourth or fifth century. Several restorations have taken place over the years, the biggest in 1660, when a new façade was added.
Inside the church is a font with an inscription that reads Baptismus Sancti Petri. It is thought that Saint Peter used this font for baptisms. Many feel this is unlikely because he most certainly would have baptized by immersion. This font is much too small.
This is our last parish station church as organized by Gregory the Great.