Saint Procopius, Martyr
According to Eusebius, Bishop of Caesarea, who was a contemporary of Saint Procopius, and wrote an account of his death, this holy man, was the first Martyr of Palestine during the persecution of Diocletian. He lived on bread and water, and sometimes fasted for a week at a time ; meditation so filled his being that he remained absorbed in it day and night, without sense of fatigue ; and because therefrom he was filled with goodness and gentleness, he edified everyone by his discourses. He was born at Jerusalem, but lived at Bethsan, where he acted as lector. Then, sent with some others to Caesarea Maritima, he was at once arrested as a Christian, and brought before the judge. To whom he straightway preached the Kingdom of Christ in such wise that he was immediately condemned to beheading ; and so passed happily to eternal life by the shortest possible road on July 8th, 303.
Grant, we beseech thee, Almighty God, that we, who this day keep the heavenly birthday of blessed Procopius, thy holy Martyr, may by his prayers be stablished in the love of thy holy Name, through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.