Butler’s Lives of the Saints – Saint Macull, of Ireland, Confessor

Article

[In Latin, Macallius; called by the common people Maughold.] He was an Irish prince, and captain of robbers, or freebooters, whom Saint Patrick converted to the faith. By baptism he was so changed into a new man, as to appear at once to have put on perfectly the spirit of Christ. To cut off all dangerous occasions and commerce, he renounced the world, and retired into the Isle of Man, about thirty English miles long, and nine broad, situated towards the coast of Lancashire, in England. In the acts of this saint, and in Gildas, it is called Eubonia, by Ptolemy Monoëda, from the British Moneitha, i. e. the further or more northern Mona, to distinguish it from the Isle of Anglesey, on the coast of Wales, called by the ancients Mona. Saint Patrick had before sent to this island Saint Germanus, whom he had ordained bishop, that he might plant a church there. He is honoured as the apostle of this island, and in his name is the cathedral church in Peel-castle dedicated. Upon the death of Saint Germanus, Saint Patrick sent thither two other preachers, named Conindrius and Romulus. In their time, Saint Macull arrived there in an open boat, and, after their death, he is said to have been chosen bishop in 498, by the unanimous consent of the Manks nation. He had till then led an austere penitential life, in the mountainous tract, which, from him, is called Saint Maughold, and where a city was afterwards built, which bears the same name, though now scarcely a village, Ramsey being the only town within this tract or parish. The saint, by his labours and example, exceedingly enlarged the kingdom of Christ in this island. In what year he died is uncertain. He is honoured in the British and Irish Calendars.

A famous monastery formerly flourished in this island, at Russin, now, from its wonderful castle, called Castletown, the present capital of the island, and residence of the governor. In Peeling, the ancient capital, besides the cathedral, there is a parish church, of which Saint Patrick is titular, and the old palace of the bishop. Out of the eighteen parishes of the island, Saint Maughold gives name to that of the part about Ramsey.—In the church-yard is Saint Maughold’s well of very clear water, received in a large stone coffin. The saint’s chair, as it is called, is placed above, in which a person was formerly seated to drink a glass of the water for the cure of several disorders, especially from poison. His shrine was formerly shown there, but was dispersed since the change of religion.

MLA Citation

  • Father Alban Butler. “Saint Macull, of Ireland, Confessor”. Lives of the Fathers, Martyrs, and Principal Saints, 1866. Saints.SQPN.com. 24 April 2013. Web. 2 August 2014. <>