HEAVEN ON EARTH – ORTHODOXY
Saint Maughold the Irish,
Bishop of Isle of Man, British Isles (+488)
Saint Maughold (also known as Macaille, Maccaldus, Machalus, Machaoi, Machella, Maghor, Mawgan, Maccul, Macc Cuill); died ca. 488 AD) is venerated as the patron saint of the Isle of Man, an island in the Irish Sea between Great Britain and Ireland. Tradition states that he was an Irish prince and captain of a band of freebooters who was converted to Christianity by Saint Patrick. His feast day is April 25. He is not St MacCaille of Croghan, County Offaly, who received Brigit of Kildare into Christian life.
One day, Maughold tried to make a fool out of Patrick. Maughold had placed a living man in a shroud. He then called for Patrick to try to revive the allegedly dead man. Patrick came, placed a hand on the shroud, and left. When Maughold and his friends opened the shroud, they found the man had died in the interim. One of Maughold’s friends, a fellow named Connor, went over to Patrick’s camp and apologized to him. Patrick returned and baptized all of the men assembled. He then blessed the man who had died, who immediately returned to life, and was also baptized. Patrick then criticized Maughold, saying he should have been helping his men into leading good lives, and told him he must make up for his evil.
As penance for his previous crimes, Patrick ordered him to abandon himself to God in a wicker boat without oars. Maughold drifted to this isle, where two of Patrick’s disciples, Saint Romulus and Saint Conindrus (Romuil and Conindri), were already established. Tradition says he landed on the north-east corner of the Isle near Ramsey, at the foot of a headland since called Maughold Head, where he established himself in a cave on the mountain side. He is said to have been chosen by the Manx people to succeed Romuil and Conindri as bishop.
He is today best remembered on the Isle of Man for his kind disposition toward the Manx natives. Several places on the island, including, Maughold parish, St. Maughold’s Well, and St. Maughold’s Chair are named after him.