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Saint Maudez

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Saint Maudez
Saint Maudez
FeastNovember 18

Saint Maudez is a Breton saint who lived in the 5th or 6th century. He is also known as Maudé, Maudet (Breton French), Maodez or Modez (Breton), Maudetus (Latin), Mandé (French) and Mawes (in Cornwall). In the Breton calendar his feast is 18 November.[1]


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He is said to be from Ireland and first settled on the south coast of Cornwall where the village of St Mawes took his name. His Holy Well is preserved on Grove Hill and St Mawes Church (Anglican) is on nearby Church Hill <The Roseland Laurence O'Toole>.[clarification needed] St Mawes Day,<CofE Saints Days>[clarification needed] continues to be celebrated on 18 November. But it is above all in Brittany that his cult is greatest. In Trégor he is said to have founded a monastery in the 5th century on the island of Maudez.

He settled there with two disciples, Saint Budoc and Saint Tudy (or Tugdual). He banished the snakes and that is why he is invoked by those who want to get rid of reptiles, insects and worms. Traces of a beehive hut known as Forn Modez (Maudez's oven) are visible on the island.

A commune in Côtes-d'Armor has the name Lanmodez (enclosure of Modez or Maudez) where the monastery of Maudez which he founded and where he died is located.

In the 9th century his relics were taken to Bourges and to Saint-Mandé (Saint-Maudez), near Paris to escape from the Normans. When they returned to Brittany they were divided between nine churches.


St Mawes holy well
St Mawes holy well
  • More than 60 churches or chapels are dedicated to the saint, e.g. Guiscriff, Lanvellec.
  • Under the name 'Saint Mawes, he is venerated at Saint Mawes in Cornwall and in the Isles of Scilly.
  • In Côtes d'Armor the village of St-Maudez is in the canton of Plélan-le-Petit.

Butler's account

The hagiographer Alban Butler ( 1710–1773) wrote in his Lives of the Fathers, Martyrs, and Other Principal Saints, under May 18,

St. Maw, Confessor

This name in the Cornish language signifies a boy. He was a native of Ireland, and came young into Cornwall that he might live to God alone in the closest solitude, in the practice of the most austere penance and the exercises of divine prayer. His hermitage was on the sea-coast, near the spacious harbour of Falmouth. The place is still called St. Mawes, in Latin S. Mauditi Castrum, where a church, and in the church-yard a chair of solid stone and a miraculous or holy well still bear his name. See Leland’s Itiner. vol. ix. p. 79, vol. iii. fol. 13. alias 19, where he writes that this saint had been a bishop in Britain, and was painted as a schoolmaster.[2]


  1. ^ Doble 1964, p. 57–73.
  2. ^ Butler 1866, p. 226.


  • Butler, Alban (1866), The Lives of the Fathers, Martyrs, and Other Principal Saints, James Duffy, retrieved 10 August 2021 Public Domain This article incorporates text from this source, which is in the public domain.
  • Doble, G. H. (1964), The Saints of Cornwall: part 3. Truro: Dean and Chapter

Further reading

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Saint Maudez
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