The Holy Disciple Philemon and his spouse Apphia
Commemorated on November 22 and February 19
The Holy Disciple
Philemon and his spouse Apphia lived in the city of Colossa in Phrygia.
Upon receiving Baptism from the holy Apostle Paul, they converted their house
into an house of prayer, where all the Colossian believers in Christ gathered
together and made Divine services. They devoted themselves to the service of
the sick and downcast. The Disciple Philemon was made bishop of the city of
Gaza and he preached the Word of God throughout all Phrygia. The holy Apostle
Paul did not cease being his guide, and directed to him his Epistle filled with
love, and in which he sends blessings "to Philemon our friend and
co-worker, and Apphia our beloved sister, and Archippos our co‑striver,
and their household the church" (Phil. 1: 1-3). Onysimos, about whom it
speaks in the Epistle, – a Disciple from among the Seventy – was a former
servant of Philemon. During the persecution of Nero (54-68) Saints Philemon and
Apphia, and likewise the holy Disciple Archippos (who also lived at
Colossa), all received the crown of martyrdom. During the time of a pagan feast
an enraged crowd rushed into the Christian church when Divine-services were
being made. All fled in terror, and only Saints Philemon, Archippos and Apphia
remained. They seized hold of them and led them off to the city governor. The
crowd like beasts beat up and stabbed at Saint Archippos with knives, and on
the way to the court he died. Saints Philemon and Apphia were stoned to death
by order of the governor.
© 1996-2001 by translator Fr. S. Janos.