Procopius of Scythopolis

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Saint Procopius
St Procopius Icon Sinai 13th century.jpg
Icon of Saint Procopius, 13th century
Saint Catherine's Monastery, Mount Sinai
Great Martyr
Born Jerusalem
Died July 7, 303 AD
Caesarea Maritima
Venerated in Roman Catholic Church
Eastern Orthodox Church

July 8 (Roman Catholic)

November 22[1][2] (Orthodox)

Procopius of Scythopolis (died July 7, 303 AD) is venerated as an early martyr and saint. He was a famous ascetic as well as an erudite theologian and philosopher.[1][2] Eusebius of Caesarea writes of his martyrdom, which occurred during the persecution of Diocletian, and states that “he was born at Jerusalem, but had gone to live in Scythopolis, where he held three ecclesiastical offices. He was reader and interpreter in the Syriac language, and cured those possessed of evil spirits.” [3] Eusebius writes that Procopius was sent with his companions from Scythopolis to Caesarea Maritima, where he was decapitated.


Later legends make him a soldier saint, or an ascetic, or a Persian, or a prince of Alexandria.[3] One story has him slaying some 6,000 barbarian invaders simply by showing them the cross. One legend, similar to that told of Paul of Tarsus, makes him a persecutor of Christians named Neanias who was made duke of Alexandria by Diocletian. On the way from Antioch Neanias experienced a vision and declares himself to be a Christian.[3]


In Western Europe, Procopius was first added into the calendar of saints by Bede, whose Martyrology lists the saint under July 8. The name and date passed into the Roman Martyrology.[4]

At Scytholopis, there was a chapel dedicated to him. At Caesarea Maritima, there was a church dedicated to him built in 484 under Emperor Zeno. His relics were translated to Antioch in the church of Saint Michael. There were four churches dedicated to him in Constantinople.[4] He is the patron saint of Niš, Serbia.[5]

In the Eastern Orthodox Church, he is remembered at the marriage dismissal.[6]


  1. ^ a b Great Synaxaristes: (in Greek) Ὁ Ἅγιος Προκόπιος ὁ Παλαιστίνιος. 22 Νοεμβρίου. ΜΕΓΑΣ ΣΥΝΑΞΑΡΙΣΤΗΣ.
  2. ^ a b Martyr Procopius the Reader at Caesarea, in Palestine. OCA - Lives of the Saints.
  3. ^ a b c Saints of July 8
  4. ^ a b San Procopio di Cesarea di Palestina
  5. ^ "ST. PROCOPIUS". Retrieved 2 March 2017. 
  6. ^

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