Saint Onesiphorus was one of the Seventy Apostles chosen and sent forth to preach by Christ (Luke 10:1). St Paul writes of him: “God grant mercy to the house of Onesiphorus, for he often refreshed me, and was not ashamed of my bonds. When he was at Rome, he searched for me with great diligence, and found me. May the Lord grant him to find the mercy of the Lord on that day; and you know how much he served me at Ephesus.” (2 Tim 1:16-18).
St Onesiphorus was bishop at Colophon (Asia Minor), and later at Corinth. He died a martyr in the city of Parium (not far from Ephesus) on the shores of the Hellespont, where he had gone to proclaim Christ among the local pagans.
St Onesiphorus was arrested and brought to a temple of the idols. For his refusal to burn incense to the pagan gods, St Onesiphorus and his servant Porphyrius were tied to wild horses, and dragged along the ground.
In the Roman Martyrology St Onesiphorus is commemorated on September 16. The Orthodox Church honors him and the holy disciple Evodus on September 7.