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MALO (also known as Machu, Machutes, Maclovius and, in Welsh, MECHELL, saint (fl. 6th century).

Name: Malo
Parent: Derfel
Gender: Male
Occupation: saint
Area of activity: Religion
Author: Hywel David Emanuel

The original MS. executed probably early in the 9th century, of the 'Life' of S. Malo, is lost. The version which is probably closest to the original is that printed first by Joannes a Bosco in his Floraciensis vetus bibliotheca, 1605, 485-515, and later more correctly by Lot. The version published by Mabillon, and the 'Life' composed by Sigebert de Gembloux in the 11th century, and printed by Migne, correspond fairly closely in subject-matter to the above. The long but untrustworthy 'Life' composed by Bili, clerk of Alet, c. 870, and printed by Lot, differs substantially, except for its early chapters, from the others. Malo was the son of Dervel, sister of Amwn Ddu, and therefore cousin to S. Samson. The name of Malo's father is not given. The home of the family was near Llancarfan, Glamorganshire, and the story tells that Malo was born actually in that monastery in the vigil of Easter, and baptized by the abbot (wrongly named Brendan). Malo was placed in the abbot's care at a tender age, and performed miracles even as a boy. He refused to abandon the monastic life in spite of his parents' entreaties, and was ordained priest by the abbot and assigned the office of preacher. Malo may also have been ordained bishop at Llancarfan. After some years Malo resolved to leave Llancarfan and sailed to Brittany, where he became bishop of Alet. Numerous miracles are related of him there. He died at an advanced age during a voyage from Alet to the province of Saintonge. Many churches are named after him in Brittany and the northern provinces of France. In Wales, he is the patron saint of the churches of S. Maughans and Llanfaenor in Monmouthshire and Llanfechell in Anglesey. 15 November is usually quoted as his feast-day.


Published date: 1959

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