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Saint Onesimus (d. ca. 90 AD) (Greek: Ὀνήσιμος, meaning "useful," also called Onesimus of Byzantium and The Holy Apostle Onesimus in some Eastern Orthodox churches) was a slave to Philemon of Colossae, a man of Christian faith. Eventually, Onesimus transgressed against Philemon and fled to the site of Paul the Apostle's imprisonment (most probably Romemarker or Ephesusmarker) to escape punishment for a theft he had committed [10827], there, he heard the Gospel from Paul and converted to Christianity. Paul, having earlier converted Philemon to Christianity, reconciled with the two and wrote a letter to Philemon (which today exists in the New Testament as the Epistle to Philemon [10828]). The letter read (in part): Due to this epistle from Paul, Philemon indeed accepted Onesimus as a brother and freed him of slavery. Although it is doubted by some authorities, it may well be that this Onesimus was the same one consecrated a bishop by the Apostles and accepted the episcopal throne in Ephesus following the Apostle Timothy. During the reign of Roman emperor Domitian and the persecution of Trajan, Onesimus was imprisoned in Rome and martyred by stoning (although some sources claim that he was beheaded[10829]).

He is regarded as a saint by several Christian churches, including the Lutheran Church - Missouri Synod, which commemorates him and Philemon on February 15.

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