Lives of the Saints

Our Models and Protectors

October 22
  

Saint Mello of Cardiff

Archbishop of Rouen
(† 311)

Saint Mello of Cardiff
Saint Mello of Cardiff

Saint Mello was born at Cardiff in Great Britain, immersed in idolatry, but converted when sent on a diplomatic mission to Rome. He heard a discourse by Pope Saint Steven and immediately afterwards expressed his desire for Baptism. Later the same Pope ordained him to the priesthood, having witnessed his zeal for the Faith. He was designated miraculously by God to go to Rouen as its Bishop, when the Pope, as well as Saint Mello himself, saw an Angel beside the altar while he was saying Mass. This heavenly Messenger presented him with a pastoral staff and told him he was destined to take the Gospel to the city of Rouen in Neustria, which is now Normandy. Saint Steven sent him there after consecrating him bishop.

In Auxerre he cured the injured foot of a carpenter by touching his pastoral staff to it, and the artisan himself and all the witnesses to this cure were converted. Then blind persons and paralytics were brought to him, and he cured them by his prayers, offered in the name of Jesus Christ. Several of his converts would later shed their blood for their faith.

Saint Mello preached in Rouen to a crowd, and a young man who had gone up on a roof to hear him, fell and was killed by the fall. The apostle resurrected him at once, and several thousand persons became Christians, including the young man in question, who was afterwards ordained a priest and became a great preacher in his turn. It was there that Saint Mello decided to build a church in honor of the Most Holy Trinity and the Blessed Virgin; it is believed that the present Cathedral stands at the same site. At what is now Saint Lo he cast out a demon from an idol, in the presence of a crowd, and nearly the entire village asked for Baptism. He purified the temple by the exorcisms of the Church and placed there an altar to the true God. This sanctified site is today the Church of Saint Lo. The holy bishop continued to bring souls to the truth during a long episcopate; he died in peace, an octogenarian, in the year 311, having governed the see of Rouen for forty years. A spring at Hericourt where the Saint once baptized, is still visited by parents with sick children, who plunge them into the water of this Fountain of Saint Mello.

Les Petits Bollandistes: Vies des Saints, by Msgr. Paul Guérin (Bloud et Barral: Paris, 1882), Vol. 12