27 February 2023

Eastern Rite - Feasts of 27 February AM 7530

Today is the Feast of Our Venerable Father and Confessor Prokopios the Decapolitan.

Saint Prokopios lived during the VIII century in the region of Decapolis, east of the Sea of Galilee. Forsaking the vanity of this world, Prokopios was tonsured in a certain monastery, where he laboured for his salvation, devoting himself to a life of prayer and fasting. As he grew experienced in ascetical labours, he was adorned with virtue and purity of soul, so that other ascetics began to notice him. Meanwhile, about this time, the heresy of iconoclasm appeared. Prokopios was distressed by the policies of the wicked Emperor Leo the Isaurian, who regarded the Holy Icons as idols, and those who venerated them as idolaters.

The righteous Prokopios, together with other zealots of Catholicism, fought against the wicked heresy of the iconoclasts. He refuted their mindless madness and defeated them by declaring that OCatholic Christians do not worship icons, we venerate them, and that veneration passes to the original prototype. This brought upon him the wrath and disfavour of the Emperor. At his command, Saint Prokopios was arrested and subjected to cruel torments: he was flogged, beaten with rods, and raked with iron claws, and then was thrown into a dank dungeon. There Saint Prokopios and Saint Basil (February 28), his co-struggler in the monastic life, languished until the death of Emperor Leo when the Holy Confessors were released.

Saint Prokopios the Decapolitan spent the remainder of his life in peace, guiding many on the path of virtue and salvation. He reposed at an advanced age, around the year 750.

Troparion — Tone 1

(Podoben: “O citizen of the desert...”)
Having advanced in asceticism, O Father Prokopios, / you went from strength to strength. / By venerating the icon of Christ, you were shown as one comparable to the Martyrs. / With them, intercede for those who cry to you: / “Glory to Him Who has strengthened you. / Glory to Him Who has crowned you. / Glory to Him, Who through you, works healings for all.”

Kontakion — Tone 4

(Special Melody: “You appeared today...”)
O most glorious Prokopios, / initiate of heavenly Mysteries, / the Church honours you today as a morning star which dispels all the gloom of heresy.

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