Today the Holy Apostle Onesimus is celebrated

Photo: Holy Apostle Onesimus

One of the seventy apostles. He was a slave of Philemon, a rich and respectable man in the city of Colossae in Phrygia, but something went wrong with his master and he fled to Rome, where he heard the Gospel from the apostle Paul and was baptized. Well, since Paul had previously brought Philemon to the true faith, he has now reconciled these two, Philemon and Onesimus, the master and the slave, by writing a special epistle to Philemon, one of the most moving writings in the Scriptures. "Please," he writes, "for my son Onesimus, whom I bore in my chains… Perhaps that is why he has separated from you for a time, that you may receive him forever, no more as a slave but more than a slave, as a brother in love." Moved by this letter, Philemon actually accepted Onesimus as a brother and set him free from slavery. Later, Onesimus was appointed bishop by the apostles themselves, and after the death of the apostle Timothy, he received the See of Ephesus. This is seen in the epistle of Saint Ignatius the Godbearer. At the time of Trajan's persecution, Onesimus was already an elder. He was arrested and taken to Rome. Here he appeared before Judge Tertull, served his prison sentence, and was eventually killed with a sword. His body was taken by a rich woman, laid in a silver coffin and honorably buried in 109.

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