Search
Close this search box.

Saint Procopius of Scythopolis

Touring Caesarea Maritima

St. Procopius of Scythopolis is the First Martyr of Caesarea Maritima. He died on July 7th in 303 CE.

After the Battle of Actium, Herod the Great establishes the city of Caesarea Maritima. And by calling it Caesarea he honors Augustus his benefactor. In the year 6 CE., Caesarea becomes the Capital of Judea. Caesarea was a Greco-Roman city with a large gentile population and a minority of Jews. By Paul’s time, the inhabitants also included some members of the early church. In fact, the New Testaments narrate that in one of Paul’s travels they reached Caesarea. And they all went into the house of Philip the Evangelist, one of the seven; and stayed with him. Then the New Testament goes on and says that some of the disciples from Caesarea joined Paul on his journey to Jerusalem.  (Acts 21:8,15-16)


In This Photo: The Theatre at Caesarea

Along the centuries, and especially in the 5th and 6h centuries, Caesarea becomes a major Christian center. One of the famous figures in that regard is St. Procopius; a famous ascetic; erudite theologian and philosopher. Eusebius of Caesarea wrote of his martyrdom, which occurs during the persecution of Roman Emperor Diocletian. And stated that “he was born in Jerusalem but he had gone to live in Scythopolis. Where he held three ecclesiastical offices. Moreover, he was a reader and interpreter in the Syriac language. And cured those possessed with evil spirits.” Furthermore, Eusebius wrote that Procopius was sent with his companions from Scythopolis to Caesarea Maritima, where he was decapitated.

St. Procopius Refuses to Worship the Roman Gods

Procopius and some companions went to Caesarea Maritima. After entering the city, he was arrested. Now Flavian, the judge, urged Procopius to sacrifice to the gods. He loudly replies that there are not several gods; but only one God. And he is the creator and author of all things. So Flavian then tried a different tack in hopes of saving Procopius’ life. Eventually, He asks if Procopius would sacrifice instead to the emperors, Dioclesian, Herculius, Galerius, and Constantius.

Procopius answered: “Listen to this verse from Homer: ‘It is not good to have several masters; let there be only one ruler and one king.’” With that, Flavian ordered the execution of Procopius. He was beheaded, making him the city’s first martyr. Shrines in honor of him in Caesarea and Scythopolis date to at least the 5th century.

Saint Procopius of Scythopolis: Veneration

In Scythopolis a chapel was dedicated in honor of him. Also in Caesarea Maritima, the Roman Emperor Zeno erects a church dedicated in honor of him in 484 CE. Perhaps it is the Octagonal Church that was built instead of the Roman Temple for Augustus and Rome?. Just above the small port of Caesarea, that’s something we are not sure about a hundred percent.

arik-about

Hi! My name is Arik, an Israeli native who dedicated his life to sharing my passion for the Holy Land with those interested in knowing more about this incredible piece of land. I’m the Chief Guide at ‘APT Private Tours in Israel’.

Did you know the Hoopoe is Israel's national bird?! For more cool info about Israel, join our ever growing community and get exclusive travel tips, and giveaways!

Simon Peter

RELATED POSTS

Muhammad’s Night Journey

According to Islam, the Islamic prophet Muhammad took a miraculous journey during a single night around the year 621 CE. Read all about it!

The Nativity of Jesus

The nativity of Jesus or Birth of Jesus is described in the biblical gospels of Luke and Matthew. So the two accounts agree that Jesus ...

The Alpha and the Omega in Christianity

The term Alpha and Omega in Christianity comes from the phrase "I am Alpha and Omega" said by Jesus in the Gospel according to John

Purim

Purim commemorates the events described in the Book of Esther, a tale of courage, resilience, and the victory of the Jewish people.

Healing the Paralytic at Bethesda

The Healing of the Paralytic at Bethesda is a miracle attributed to Jesus Christ, as recorded in the Gospel of John, chapter 5, verses 1-15.

Lord’s Prayer

The Lord’s Prayer, also called the Our Father, is a central Christian prayer which, according to the New Testament, Jesus taught as the way to pray: Pray then in this way … (Matthew ...

Ascension of Jesus

The ascension of Jesus is an event that holds great significance for Christians. According to the New Testament, he ascended from Mt. Olives.

Battle of Jericho

The Battle of Jericho is an iconic event in the Bible that stands as a symbol of faith, divine intervention, and the triumph of perseverance.

Akeldama

Akeldama, also known as the "Field of Blood," is a historically significant site near the Hinnom Valley in southern Jerusalem.

Jesus’ Miracles in Jerusalem

Jesus' miracles in Jerusalem are among the most powerful and well-known events in his ministry. Both you can actually visit these days.

Need help?

Skip to content