Onesimus lived in the first century and there is very little information about him. He was, however, mentioned in Sacred Scripture. Saint Paul speaks of him in his epistles. Apparently Paul met Onesimus while in a Roman prison. Paul baptized him and came to consider Onesimus like a son.
Onesimus was a former slave of a man named Philemon, and when Onesimus was released from prison Paul sent with him a letter to Philemon requesting that Philemon treat his former slave as “no longer a slave, but more than a slave, a brother, beloved especially to me, but even more so to you, as a man in the Lord.”
Paul went on to say, “So if you regard me as a partner, welcome him as you would me. And if he has done you any injustice or owes you anything, charge it to me.” Paul also mentions Onesimus again in his letter to the Colossians as accompanying Tychicus, who is the bearer of the letter.
Like many first century Christians, Onesimus was martyred in the year 90.
We thank you, Lord Jesus, for men like Onesimus who were willing to give their lives for their faith. We pray, Lord, that Onesimus and St. Paul and all the saints in heaven will pray for us that we also may be strong in our faith and always ready to be put to the test. Amen.
Other Saints We Remember Today
St. Juliana (305), Virgin, Martyr