My Faith/New Testament/Scripture/Teen Faith How to Read Philemon by Mark Hart The letter of St. Paul to Philemon is the shortest epistle from the pen of St. Paul. This is a moving letter that gives a very intimate glimpse into the heart of the Apostle Paul. It is written to a slave owner named Philemon, a woman named Apphia (possibly Philemon’s wife), and a man named Archippus (possibly Philemon’s son). St. Paul wrote this letter requesting that Philemon welcome back one of his runaway slaves (a man named Onesimus). Apparently, Onesimus had originally been ‘useless’ and unfaithful to his master, perhaps even stealing from Philemon (Philemon 1:11, 18). However, God’s grace is powerful and it seems that Onesimus had a conversion to Christ through the ministry of St. Paul. The apostle sent Onesimus back to his master (Philemon 1:12), and wrote to Philemon encouraging him to embrace Onesimus as a brother in Christ (Philemon 1:16). This epistle, though short, is a beautiful glimpse into true Christian conversion, love, mercy and forgiveness. As you read it, meditate on the power of God’s loving mercy and forgiveness to transform every part of our life and being.