Lives of Saints - St. Prokopios, Great Martyr Christianity - Books
I am Yahweh your God, who brought you out of the land of Egypt, out of the house of bondage.                You shall have no other gods before me.                You shall not make for yourselves an idol, nor any image of anything that is in the heavens above, or that is in the earth beneath, or that is in the water under the earth:                you shall not bow yourself down to them, nor serve them, for I, Yahweh your God, am a jealous God, visiting the iniquity of the fathers on the children, on the third and on the fourth generation of those who hate me,                and showing loving kindness to thousands of those who love me and keep my commandments.                You shall not take the name of Yahweh your God in vain, for Yahweh will not hold him guiltless who takes his name in vain.                Remember the Sabbath day, to keep it holy.                You shall labor six days, and do all your work,                but the seventh day is a Sabbath to Yahweh your God. You shall not do any work in it, you, nor your son, nor your daughter, your male servant, nor your female servant, nor your livestock, nor your stranger who is within your gates;                for in six days Yahweh made heaven and earth, the sea, and all that is in them, and rested the seventh day; therefore Yahweh blessed the Sabbath day, and made it holy.                Honor your father and your mother, that your days may be long in the land which Yahweh your God gives you.                You shall not murder.                You shall not commit adultery.                You shall not steal.                You shall not give false testimony against your neighbor.                You shall not covet your neighbor's house. You shall not covet your neighbor's wife, nor his male servant, nor his female servant, nor his ox, nor his donkey, nor anything that is your neighbor's.
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St. Prokopios, Great Martyr

Theodosia, the fanatical pagan mother of Prokopios, who loathed Christians, did all in her power to raise her son a pagan, and she was successful.

In his youth, Prokopios was a typical pagan. Yet, God had other plans for this young man. His daily contact with Christians, from whom he heard many astonishingly beautiful things about Christ and His Holy Apostles, slowly interested him in the faith he up to then had despised. He began to see that the Christians, though lacking beautiful temples embellished with statues and decorous splendour, possessed another kind of beauty not to be found in any other religion or philosophical system.

They possessed the truth, indeed, the ultimate truth about God, man, salvation, and eternal life.

With the passing of time, he was baptised to live ever after as a very devout Christian. Thus, by the grace of Almighty God, a former typical pagan had now been transformed to an ideal Christian. In fact, this is how Eusebios, a noted church historian and contemporary of Prokopios, described the saint and his martyrdom.

"He was a man so filled with divine grace that he had devoted himself to chastity and the practice of all virtues. He had reduced his body until he had given it, so speak, the appearance of a corpse, but his soul drew from the word of God so great a vigour that the body itself was refreshed by it."

Studying on the Divine Word so filled his being that he remained absorbed in it day and night without fatigue. Filled with goodness and gentleness, regarding himself as the least of men, he edified everyone by his discourses. The Word of God was his sole study, and he had but little knowledge of profane science, Born at Aelia (the pagan name of Jerusalem), he had taken up his residence at Scythopolis to Caesarea.

He had scarcely passed the city gates when he was conducted into the presence of the governor, and even before he had had a taste of chains or prison walls, he was urged by the judge, Flavian, to sacrifice to the gods.

But he, in a loud voice, proclaimed that there were not several gods, but one alone, the creator and author of all things.

This answer made a vivid impression on the judge. Finding nothing to say in reply, he tried to persuade Prokopios, at least, to sacrifice to the emperors. This martyr of God spurned his entreaties. 'Listen," he said, 'it is not good to have several masters; let there be one chief, one king"'. At these words, as though he had uttered insults against the emperors, the judge ordered him to be executed.

They cut off his head, and he passed happily to eternal life on the 21st day in the month of July. This was the first martyrdom that took place in Caesarea. And so a beautiful soul, that for years served as an ideal example of Christian virtue, through a tragic death, inherited the Kingdom of God's elect in A.D. 303.


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