November 15, 2017

Saint Malo, First Bishop of Aleth (+ 621)

St. Malo of Aleth (Feast Day - November 15)

Saint Malo (or Maclou, Maclovius) of Aleth was born in Wales in 520 and baptized as a young adult by Saint Brendan the Navigator. After his baptism, he became Brendan's favorite disciple. As a monk at Llancarfan Abbey in Wales, Saint Malo was known for his participation in the famous Voyage of Saint Brendan. Saint Brendan and Malo left Llancarfan Abbey with several companions and discovered the "Island of the Blest". He then went to sea on a second voyage and visited the Island of C├ęzembre, remaining there for some time. It is thought that Brendan, on the occasion of his second voyage, evangelized the Orkney Islands and the northern isles of Scotland.

At Aleth, Malo served under a venerable hermit named Aaron. Upon Aaron's death in 544, Malo continued the spiritual rule of the Brittany district now known as Saint-Malo in his honor and was consecrated as the first Bishop of Aleth (modern Saint-Servan, France). There he established many churches.

In old age, the disorder on the island compelled Saint Malo to leave, but the people soon begged him to return to lift an excommunication he had imposed on them. He obliged his people and returned to restore order. Feeling at the end of his life, the Saint was determined to spend his last days in solitary penance. Accordingly, he went to Archambiac, a village in the diocese of Saintes, where he passed the remainder of his life in prayer and mortification. His death, reported in Archingeay (in the same diocese), came on November 15, 621.