ADDITIONAL INFORMATION ON PHILEMON AND ONESIMUS
The holy, glorious, all-laudable Apostle Philemon, bishop of Gaza, is numbered among the Seventy Apostles. The Church has included a letter he received from the Apostle Paul in the canon of Holy Scripture. His wife, Apphia, is also numbered among the Seventy, and they, with the Apostle Archippus, ministered to the town of Colossae from its Christian center, Philemon’s home. During a pagan feast the Church had gathered in his home for prayer. When the pagans learned of it they raided the home and took Sts. Philemon, Apphia, and Archippus to be killed. They were whipped, buried up to their waists and then stoned. Sts. Philemon and Apphia gave up their souls to God. The Church remembers St. Philemon and his fellow martyrs on February 19 and November 22.
Apostle Onesimus of the Seventy (February 15), also mentioned in Paul’s letter to Philemon, was Philemon’s former slave who became a disciple of St. Paul.