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St. Machutus





(Maclovius; Malo). Born about the year 520 probably in Wales and baptized by St. Brendan. Machutus became his favourite disciple and was one of those specially selected by that holy man for his oft-described voyage. No doubt he may have remained some years in Llancarrven Abbey, when St. Brendan stayed there, and it was from there that St. Brendan and his disciple, St. Machutus, with numerous companions set forth for the discovery of the "Island of the Blest". He then put to sea on a second voyage and visited the Island of September, in the seaward front of St. Malo, known as Cizembra, where he tarried for some time. It was on the occasion of his second voyage that he evangelized the Orkney Islands and the northern isles of Scotland. At Aleth opposite St. Malo he placed himself under a venerable hermit named Aaron, on whose death in 543 (or 544), St. Machutus succeeded to the spiritual rule of the district subsequently known as St. Malo, and was consecrated first Bishop of Aleth. It is remarkable that St. Brendan also laboured at Aleth, and had a hermit's cell there on a precipitous rock in the sea, whither he often retired. In old age the disorder of the island compelled St. Machutus to leave, but the people soon begged the saint to come back. On his return matters were put right, and the saint, feeling that his end was at hand, determined to spend his last days in solitary penance. Accordingly he proceeded to Archambiac, a village in the Diocese of Santes, where he passed the remainder of his life in prayer and mortification. His obit is chronicled on 15 November, in the year 618, 620 or 622.

W. H. Grattan-Flood.








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