Saints Philemon the Apostle, Archippus, Onesimus and Apphia
Date of celebration: 22/11
Saints Philemon, Archippus, Onesimus and Apphia were disciples of the Apostle Paul (about 54 AD) and the Apostle Paul mentions them in his letter to Philemon.
Philemon and his wife Apphia were Christians in the city of Colossae, with a developed sense of charity. They used their riches willingly for the relief of the poor and sick and for the development of the work of Christ. They came to Christianity through the Apostle Paul, when he had come to their city. In fact, he specifically writes about Philemon’s charity work:
“We have much grace and prayer for your love because the souls of the saints rest for you, brother” (To Philemon, 7). That is, we have much joy and consolation for your love, because the hearts of the Christian brothers have found rest with your favors and benevolences, brother.
Archippus is said to have been a relative, perhaps a son of Philemon and Apphia. Paul, because Archippus was very devoted to spreading the Gospel, calls him a soldier in his letter to Philemon.
Onesimus was a servant of Philemon, from whom he escaped and went to Rome. There he fell into the nets of the Apostle Paul, who sent him back to Philemon, now a Christian. And he begs Philemon to receive Onesimus, not as a servant, but as a brother.
According to tradition, they all witnessed the spread of the Gospel.
Finally, note that the Apostle Onesimus is celebrated separately on February 15 and the Apostle Archippus is celebrated separately on February 19. Today, Saint Philemon the Apostle and Apphia are mainly celebrated.