ABSTRACT. The canonical text of Acts describes the spiritual confrontation between Simon Magus and the Apostles Peter and John in Samaria. The biblical episode was developed by apocryphal literature, the conflict becoming a paradigm of the struggle between truth and false, under the eyes of the citizens of Rome. The ecclesiastical selection did not forbid iconographic representations of this event, which is proved by the mosaic of the Palatine Chapel in Palermo-Sicily. Simon Magus, the self-named “great power of God”, failed to imitate the ascension to heaven, being defeated by the prayers of the apostles Peter and Paul, who invoke the power of the name of Jesus Christ.

Keywords: canonical text; apocrypha; Apostles; Simon Magus; Palatine Chapel; prayer

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Alexandru Ioan Cuza University,
Faculty of Orthodox Theology;
Iaşi, Romania

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