Saint Prokopios came from the region of Decapolis in the Holy Land and lived in the eighth century. He accepted monastic tonsure as a young man. With his ascetic deeds, righteousness and piety he earned himself the respect of the fellow monks who viewed him as a man of virtue and a pure soul. But he performed the feat of his life by standing up fearlessly against the heresy of iconoclasm that became official policy in Byzantine during the reign of Emperor Leo the Isaurus.
Iconoclasts considered icons to be idols and denounced the veneration of icons as idolatry. Saint Prokopius joined the circle of true believers who fought against heresy. He articulated the main argument for icon veneration that became centuries later the decision of the Ecumenical Council against iconoclasts. He insisted that Christians do not worship icons, but worship them; that the object of the veneration is not the depiction, but the saint depicted on the icon, ‘the original prototype’. For upholding this position, he was arrested and suffered cruel torments. He was flogged, cut with iron claws and then thrown into a dungeon, where he remained until the death of the heretical emperor.
After the emperor’s death, he regained his freedom and continued his monastic pursuits until he died at an old age.