(Died 303)
St. Procopius holds the distinction of being the first Christian martyr of his city in what today is northern Israel.
He was born in Jerusalem and was well educated and known for his virtue, grace, humility and chastity. He held three offices in the Sycythopolis church: reader, translator of Greek and exorcist. He was arrested upon entering the city of Caesarea Maritima and offered freedom by the judge, Flavian, if he would sacrifice to the gods.
Procopius replied that there is but one true God. So, Flavian offered him an opening if he would sacrifice instead to the emperors Diocletian, Herculius, Galerius and Constantius. Procopius replied with a quote from Homer, “It is not good to have several masters; let there be only one ruler and one king.”
For his refusal, Procopius was beheaded. Over the centuries many legends were fabricated about the saint. He survived many tortures, killed 6,000 soldiers by holding up a cross and converting his guards using arguments from Aristotle, Plato and Socrates. Another has him being made a duke and persecutor of Christians before having a dramatic Paul-like conversion.
Adapted by A.J. Valentini from: Staley, T. (2012, July 6). St. Procopius knew both the Bible and Plato. In The Compass. Retrieved from