Commemorated on November 22nd
St Archippos the Apostle, St Philemon the Apostle and his wife St Apphia, and St Onesimos of the Seventy
St Philemon and his wife St Apphia were Holy Apostles of the Seventy who lived in the city of Colossa in Phrygia. After they were baptized by the Apostle Paul, they converted their house into a house of prayer, where all those who believed in Christ gathered and attended services. They devoted themselves to serving the sick and downcast.
St Philemon became Bishop of the city of Gaza, and he preached the Word of God throughout Phrygia. Apostle Paul continued to be his guide, and addressed to him his Epistle filled with love, and in which he sends blessings, "to Philemon our dearly beloved, and fellow labourer, and to our beloved Apphia, and to Archippus our fellow soldier, and to the church in your house" (Phil 1:1-3). St Onesimus (commemorated February 15), also mentioned in the Epistle, was St Philemon's former slave.
Sts Philemon, Apphia, and St Archippos (who also lived at Colossa) received the crown of martyrdom during the persecution of Nero (54-68 AD). During a pagan festival, an enraged crowd rushed into the Christian church when services were going on. All fled in terror, and only Sts Philemon, Archippos, and Apphia remained. The pagans seized them and led them off to the city governor. They beat, and stabbed St Archippuos with knives, and he died on the way to the court. Sts Philemon and Apphia were stoned to death by order of the governor. The memory of the holy Apostles Archippos, Philemon, and Apphia is also celebrated on February 19.
Dismissal Hymn (Third Tone)
O Holy Apostles, intercede to our merciful God, that He may grant our souls forgiveness of sins.
Kontakion (Second Tone )
We praise Christ's Apostles as bright stars illumining the ends of the world, glorious Philemon, Onesimus, Archippos, and with them, wise Apphia, crying, "Pray unceasingly in behalf of us all".