« Helena, St., mother of Constantine the Great Heliodorus, bp. of Altinum Helladius, bp. of Tarsus »

Heliodorus, bp. of Altinum

Heliodorus (7), bp. of Altinum near Aquileia, c. 400, had served originally as a soldier, but had been ordained before we first hear of him. He belonged to a band of friends drawn together at Aquileia, c. 372, for the study of Scripture and the practice of asceticism, which included St. Jerome, Evagrius afterwards bp. of Antioch, Rufinus, Bonosus, and Chromatius afterwards bp. of Aquileia. The passion for asceticism and the troubles which arose about Jerome made the companions resolve, under the guidance of Evagrius, to go to Syria and Antioch. Heliodorus went on to Jerusalem, where he enjoyed the hospitality of Florentius, who, having devoted himself to the ascetic life, employed his wealth in the entertainment of pilgrims (Hieron. Ep. iv. ed. Vall.). Returning to Antioch, he found Jerome resolved to go into the solitude of the desert of Chalcis. Heliodorus felt that he himself had a call to the pastoral life, having a sister and a nephew dependent on him (Hieron. Ep. lx. 9, ed. Vall.). He therefore returned to his native Aquileia, holding out to his friend some hopes that he might rejoin him one day in the desert (ib.). Jerome wrote to him on his return to Italy a letter, reproaching him for turning back from the more perfect service, which afterwards had a great effect in furthering asceticism and became so celebrated that a Roman lady, Fabiola, knew it by heart (Hieron. Ep. lxxvii. 9, ed. Vall.; Ep. xiv. 11). But their friendship was never broken. Heliodorus continued in the pastoral office, and not long afterwards became bp. of Altinum. He was present in 381 as a bishop at the council of Aquileia. In after-years he was closely allied with Chromatius, bp. of Aquileia, and they both kept up communications with Jerome, then residing at Bethlehem. They took a warm interest in Jerome's translation of the Scriptures, and frequently wrote to him, exhorting him to complete the long-delayed work. They supported amanuenses to assist him; and by the grateful mention of their aid in the prefaces to the books last translated, their names are for ever associated with the great work of the Vulgate ("Preface to the Books of Solomon and to Tobit," Jerome's Works, vol. ix. 1305, x. 26; Migne's ed. of Vallarsi's Jerome). Cappelletti (Le Chiese d᾿Italia, v. 516, 610) reckons his successor in the see of Altinum to have been Ambrosius, a.d. 407.


« Helena, St., mother of Constantine the Great Heliodorus, bp. of Altinum Helladius, bp. of Tarsus »
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