Procopius of Scythopolis (died 7 July AD 303) was a 4th century martyr who is venerated as a saint. He was a reader and exorcist in the church at Scythopolis; he also was famous as an ascetic and erudite theologian. Eusebius of Caesarea wrote of his martyrdom, which occurred during the persecution of Roman Emperor Diocletian, and stated 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." Eusebius wrote that Procopius was sent with his companions from Scythopolis to Caesarea Maritima, where he was decapitated.
|Died||7 July AD 303|
|Venerated in||Roman Catholicism|
22 November (only Orthodoxy)
Eusebius's account of Procopius's martyrdom also exists in medieval Syriac, Georgian, and Latin translations. Later legendary and contradictory accounts claimed that he was either a soldier saint, ascetic, a Persian, or prince of Alexandria. One myth claimed that he slew around 6,000 barbarian invaders simply by showing them the cross. Another account, clearly borrowed off of the life of the Apostle St. Paul of Tarsus, claimed that he was a persecutor of Christians originally named Neanias whom Roman Emperor Diocletian appointed as duke of Alexandria, Egypt; on the way from Antioch, Neanias experienced a vision and declared himself to be a Christian.
In Scythopolis a chapel was dedicated in honor of him. In Caesarea Maritima Roman Emperor Zeno erected a church dedicated in honor of him in AD 484. His relics were translated to the Church of Saint Michael in Antioch, Syria. In Constantinople 4 churches were dedicated in his honor. He is the patron saint of Niš, Serbia.
- Great Synaxaristes: (in Greek) Ὁ Ἅγιος Προκόπιος ὁ Παλαιστίνιος. 22 Νοεμβρίου. ΜΕΓΑΣ ΣΥΝΑΞΑΡΙΣΤΗΣ.
- Martyr Procopius the Reader at Caesarea, in Palestine. OCA - Lives of the Saints.
- Saints of July 8 Archived December 2, 2008, at the Wayback Machine
- Kazhdan, Alexander; Ševčenko, Nancy Patterson (1991). "Prokopios, saint". In Kazhdan, Alexander (ed.). The Oxford Dictionary of Byzantium. Oxford and New York: Oxford University Press. p. 1731. ISBN 0-19-504652-8.
- San Procopio di Cesarea di Palestina
- "ST. PROCOPIUS". Retrieved 2 March 2017.
- "Crowning". Archived from the original on 2015-02-04. Retrieved 2014-04-10.