Saint Onesimus (1st century)

for February 16

Saint Onesimus was the slave of two Colossian Christians, Saints Philemon and Apphia. While enslaved, Onesimus committed a crime and escaped punishment from his masters by running away to Rome. While in Rome, he met Saint Paul, who baptized him and regarded him as his own son. Saint Paul instructed Onesimus to return to his master, giving him a letter for Philemon asking him to regard Onesimus "no longer as a slave, but more than a slave, a brother, beloved especially to me, but even more so to you, as a man in the Lord. So if you regard me as a partner, welcome him as you would me. And if he has done you any injustice or owes you anything, charge it to me." After reading this letter, Philemon freed Onesimus from slavery.

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It is easy to run away from our problems when we make a mistake. That's just what Saint Onesimus did after he committed a crime and ran away from his masters. With the guidance and love of Saint Paul, he eventually returned to his masters to own up to his mistake, and to ask to be freed. Do you run away from your mistakes and problems, or do you own up to them and apologize to the ones whom you have wronged? Pray to the Lord to always be open, honest, humble, and willing to forgive.


Jesus Christ, you came to earth to bring forgiveness to all. Empower me to not drown in evil but to ask for forgiveness, to begin again to do honorable deeds. (Taken from “Take Ten: Daily Bible Reflections for Teens.”)