Heliodorus of Catania

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Heliodorus of Catania (Italian: Eliodoro, pronounced [e.ljoˈdɔː.ro]; died Catania, 778) is a semi-legendary personage accused by his contemporaries of being a necromancer practicing witchcraft.

Son of a noble Sicilian family, he at first professed his Christianity, and he was even a candidate to assume the Episcopal Diocese of Catania. In that period the Etnean City came under the jurisdiction of the Eastern Roman Empire governed by then-Emperor Leo III the Isaurian.

Having failed to achieve this religious appointment, conferred on an Archdeacon from Ravenna (Saint Leo of Catania), he apostatized to begin taking an interest in magic. Leo later became a "Saint", a "Miracles' Operator", and the "Fifteenth Bishop of Catania".

Besides the accusation of necromancy, Heliodorus was pointed to as an "idolmaker" and "a Disciple of Jews". He remained a vocal opponent of Saint Leo the Thaumaturgus (="The Wonderworker"), Bishop from 765 to 785 AD.


  • Lo Presti, Salvatore (1938). Fatti e Leggende Catanesi. Catania: Edizione SEM. 
  • Amari, Michele (1933). Storia dei Musulmani di Sicilia. Catania: Nallino.