The slave turns over a new leaf

There was a slave who was in the habit of stealing. One day he stole something very valuable from his master, Philemon, and ran away to Rome. On the way, he felt miserable that he had stolen from his master, and so he went to see the great apostle St Paul, who was then in prison because of his faith.

St Paul had a big heart. He showed much affection and love to the slave. Since the slave had now repented of his misdeed, St Paul hoped that his master would forgive him. The master, who was a Christian, happened to be a friend of St Paul's. Therefore, he listened to the request of the saint.

When the slave returned to his master's house, the master saw that the slave had totally turned over a new leaf. Not only had he turned over a new leaf, but he was expressing deep interest in the spiritual life. So the master set him free and said, "You can spend your life for God."

The former slave was so happy and delighted. He went back to St Paul and became a very devoted server to him. He became an excellent God-seeker and man-server. St Paul made him a priest and later, even a bishop.

It seems that the power of ignorance is all-where. Although, in his case, the former slave had conquered ignorance, his enemies stoned him to death, for they could not tolerate his exemplary faith in Christ and his extraordinary service to the God-lovers.

He is our Saint Onesimus.