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Saints Philemon and Apphia
Died 70, Colossae, Phrygia
Venerated in Roman Catholic Church
Feast 22 November

Philemon was the recipient of a private letter from Paul of Tarsus. This Epistle to Philemon, is found in the New Testament.

Traditionally, Philemon is believed to have been a resident of Colossae in Phrygia.[1] However, his residency is not indicated in the letter itself, but is deduced from a mention of his slave, Onesimus, in the Epistle to the Colossians.[2]

Beyond the information in the letter itself, early church traditions represent Philemon as Bishop of Colossae,[3] and the Menaia of 22 November speak of him as a holy apostle who, in company with Apphia, Archippus, and Onesimus had been martyred at Colossae during the first general persecution in the reign of Nero.

In the list of the Seventy Apostles, attributed to Dorotheus of Tyre, Philemon is described as bishop of Gaza. He is regarded as a saint by several Christian churches.


  1. ^ Wikisource-logo.svg "Philemon". Catholic Encyclopedia. New York: Robert Appleton Company. 1913.  
  2. ^ For further information on Philemon according to the epistle, see Epistle to Philemon
  3. ^ Const. Apost., VI, 46

This article incorporates text from the entry Philemon in the public-domain Catholic Encyclopedia of 1913.



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