- Malchus of Chalcis
Only child of a farming family. Worked as a shepherd, spending his time in the field in prayer. His family hoped he would marry, but Malchus felt a call to the religious life and slipped away from home and became a monk; he lived as a vegetarian, eating only dates, cheese and milk. When Malchus’ father died, he left the monastery against his abbot‘s orders to return home and help his family. On the road he and a group of pilgrims were kidnapped by Saracen raiders and sold into slavery. He was forced to marry another slave, but converted her to Christianity, and the two lived as brother and sister. They eventually escaped, returning to Malchus’ old monastery where they lived the religious life; Malchus was often called on to tell his story as a lesson about disobeying your abbot. Legend says that while they were on the road to the monastery, the escaped slaves were protected by a lion.