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Philemon was a convert of Paul who is the only known personal recipient of a letter from him, namely, the Epistle to Philemon. A slave of Philemon named Onesimus had escaped and fled to Paul.

Paul converted the slave and then learned that he had robbed and fled from Philemon. Paul persuaded Onesimus to return to Philemon and beg for forgiveness with a letter from Paul urging the master to show leniency.

Philemon responded by forgiving the slave and even setting him free as a Christian brother.