Monday, February 15, 2016

For All the Saints: Onesimus

In the Orthodox Church and the Lutheran Church-Missouri Synod, Saint Onesimus is honored today. He is the slave who is the subject of Paul's Epistle to Philemon. Onesimus was a runaway slave who was converted to Christianity by Paul. Subsequently, his master Philemon converted, too. Paul hoped that Onesimus would stay with him, but he sent him back to Philemon with the hopes that they could be reconciled and Onesimus released. The letter was an important text in the American debate concerning slavery.

According to the Wikipedia page, Onesimus' day was changed from February 16 to 15 in the Roman Catholic tradition. Philemon himself is also honored today in the Lutheran Church-Missouri Synod, but on November 22 in the Roman Catholic and Orthodox traditions, somewhat overshadowed that day by St. Cecilia.

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