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The Holy Great Martyr Procopius

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July 8

Reading:

The holy Martyr Procopius was born of a pious father named Christopher, but his mother Theodosia was an idolater. After Christopher's death, she presented Neanias - for this was the Saint's name before - to Diocletian, who was at Antioch in Syria. Diocletian made him Duke of Alexandria, and sent him there to punish the Christians. On the way to Alexandria, our Lord spoke to Neanias as once He had to Saul, and turned this new persecutor to faith in Him. Neanias turned back to Scythopolis, and preached Christ. He was betrayed by his own mother, and was arrested and tormented in Caesarea of Palestine. While he was in prison, the Lord appeared to him again and gave him the new name of Procopius (which is derived from the Greek word meaning "progress, advancement"). He was brought out of prison and taken to worship the idols, but at his prayer, the idols fell; many then believed in Christ and suffered martyrdom, among them certain soldiers, twelve women of senatorial rank, and the Saint's own mother, Theodosia. Saint Procopius, after further torments and imprisonment, was beheaded about the year 290.

Apolytikion in the Fourth Tone

Thy Martyr, O Lord, in his courageous contest for Thee received the prize of the crowns of incorruption and life from Thee, our immortal God. For since he possessed Thy strength, he cast down the tyrants and wholly destroyed the demons' strengthless presumption. O Christ God, by his prayers, save our souls, since Thou art merciful.

Kontakion in the Second Tone

Devoutly aflame with godly zeal for Christ thy Lord, and armed with the strength and power of the precious Cross, thou didst cast down headlong thy foes' exalted pride, O Procopius, exalting Christ's holy Church, advancing in faith and shedding light on us.