(Died 95 AD)

Onesimus was born in Phrygia (west-central Turkey today). He became a slave to Philemon, an important person of the city of Colossae. At some point in his servitude Onesimus stole from his master and fled.

During this period, he found himself in Rome and contacted St. Paul, who was in prison there. The saint managed to convert and baptize Onesimus to the faith. Paul convinced the young man of his guilt for betraying his master and sent him with his canonical letter of recommendation to Philemon. Moved by his slave’s contriteness and Paul’s letter, the master set Onesimus free, and sent him back to his spiritual father,

Thereafter Onesimus faithfully served Paul. That apostle made him, with Tychicus, the bearer of his Epistle to the Colossians, and afterward, as St. Jerome and other Fathers witness, a preacher of the Gospel and a bishop. He was crowned with martyrdom under Domitian in the year 95.

Adapted by A. J. Valentini from: St. Onesimus. (2018). Catholic Saints Information.