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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.
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.
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.
- Butler, Alban (1866), The Lives of the Fathers, Martyrs, and Other Principal Saints, James Duffy, retrieved 10 August 2021 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
- Maurice Carbonnell, Saint Maudez-- Saint Mandé: un maître du monachisme breton, 2009 An exhaustive study which surveys the whole range of aspects of this saint: history, legend, veneration, and etymology. Also available as an illustrated volume of 172 p. ISBN 2-914996-06-3.
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