Simon Magus

'Fall of Simon Magus' by Gozzoli, 1461 to 1462, Royal Collection, Hampton Court; swiped from the Web Gallery of ArtArticle

According to the testimony of Saint Justin, a native of Gitta, he was converted by the preaching of Philip the Deacon in Samaria and was baptized. When the Apostles Peter and John came to give the Holy Ghost to the believers, Simon offered them money for the power of bestowing the Holy Spirit and was severely rebuked by Saint Peter. He begged the Apostles to pray for him (Acts 9). According to legend Simon came to Rome and won many adherents by his magic. Another version makes him the chief antagonist of Saint Peter. By magic he rose into the air, but the prayers of the Apostles Peter and Paul caused him to fall, a scene depicted in the attached image. In the traditions of the 2nd century he was regarded as head of an heretical sect called Simonans.

MLA Citation

  • “Simon Magus”. New Catholic Dictionary. CatholicSaints.Info. 18 November 2016. Web. 27 January 2021. <>