Saint of the Day – 22 October – Saint Melanius (Died 314) Bishop of Rouen, Confessor, Miracle-worker, Hermit. Born c 229 near Cardiff, Wales and died on 11 November 314 in Hericourt, France of natural causes. Also known as – Mellon, Mallone, Mallonous, Mello, Mellonin, Mellouns, Mellonius.
The Roman Martyrology reads: “At Rouen, St Melanius, Bishop, who was Ordained by Pope St Stephen I and sent to Rouen to preach the Gospel.”
Melanius was the son of local Welsh pagan nobility. He was sent to Rome to accompany the tribute due from his Province to the Roman Emperor.
Whilst in Rome Melanius was converted to Christianity by Pope Stephen 1, who Ordained him Priest and later Consecrated him Bishop. Pope Stephen then sent him to be the Bishop of Rouen in France. In 311, after a long Episcopate, he retired to a Hermit’s cell at a place called Hericourt, where he died
History records that whilst Bishop of Rouen ,Melanius performed many miracles including an exorcism where he cast out devils in their often depicted form – as monkeys!
Melanius was buried at Rouen but, towards the end of the 8th Century, his remains were translated to a Church in Pontoise to protect them from Norse invaders. They remained there until they were lost or destroyed, during the French Revolution.
Both the Village of St Mellons and the Church, in Cardiff are dedicated to Melanius of Rouen. A fair is held on 22 October, his Feast Day in the Village of St Mellons. In Hericourt, where our Saint had lived the last few years as a Hermit, there is now a Church dedicated to him and another in Thiédeville and Plomelin, Brittany.