February 15, 2017

Synaxarion of the Holy Apostle Onesimus of the Seventy

St. Onesimus the Apostle (Feast Day - February 15)


Onesimus laid out his legs to be broken,
Legs which bravely ran on roads to Paul.
On the fifteenth the legs of Onesimus were crushed.

Saint Onesimus was a servant of the Apostle Philemon,* and according to Theodoret of Cyrus he was from Colossae, to which the blessed Paul wrote an epistle. Because Onesimus stole money from the household of Philemon, as was disclosed in the epistle of Paul to Philemon, he fled and went to Rome, and there he met the Apostle Paul finding him in bonds. Being catechized by him in the faith of Christ, and baptized, he also became wondrous in virtue. Because Paul did not consider it right for Philemon to grieve due to the theft and flight of his servant Onesimus, for this reason he sent him back to his master Philemon, together with his introductory and surrendering epistle to Philemon.

Philemon received Onesimus with the epistle and rejoiced, and sent him back to Paul to serve him. After Paul completed his martyrdom, the divine Onesimus was captured and brought before Tertullus the eparch of Rome, and the eparch sent him to Potioli as a prisoner. Tertullus also went there, and seeing the Apostle remain steadfast in his faith in Christ, first he ordered that he be beaten harshly with rods, and then they crushed his legs. In this way the blessed one left this temporary life, and departed for the eternal.


* Both Saints Philemon and Onesimus are celebrated together on November 22nd.

Apolytikion in the First Tone
Enlightened in mind by Paul, thou didst become a servant of God the Word, and an inspired Apostle. O Onesimos, servant of Christ, thou dost reward with the gift of life those who faithfully cry to thee: Glory to Him Who has glorified thee; glory to Him Who has crowned thee; glory to Him Who through thee works healings for all.

Kontakion in the Fourth Tone
Thou didst shine like a beam of light, O blessed Onesimos, resplendent with rays from Paul the brilliant sun who illumined the world. Wherefore we all honour thee, O glorious Onesimos.