Apostle (Eastern Orthodox)
Martyr (Latin Church)
Died68 AD
Colossae, Phrygia
(modern-day Honaz, Denizli, Turkey)
Venerated inEastern Orthodox
Catholic Church
Feast22 November (Eastern Orthodox and Latin Catholic)
February 15 (Lutheran)

Philemon (/fɪˈlmən, f-/; Greek: Φιλήμων; Philḗmōn) was an early Christian in Asia Minor who was the recipient of a private letter from Paul of Tarsus. This letter is known as Epistle to Philemon in the New Testament. He is known as a saint by several Christian churches along with his wife Apphia (or Appia). Philemon was a wealthy Christian and a minister (possibly a bishop)[1] of the house church that met in his home.[2]

The Menaia of 22 November speak of Philemon 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.[3] In the list of the Seventy Apostles, attributed to Dorotheus of Tyre, Philemon is described as bishop of Gaza.


  1. ^ Const. Apost., VI, 46
  2. ^ Philemon 1:1–2
  3. ^  One or more of the preceding sentences incorporates text from a publication now in the public domainHerbermann, Charles, ed. (1913). "Philemon". Catholic Encyclopedia. New York: Robert Appleton Company.