The Feast of St Mel-Feb 6th/7th

Saint Mél or Moel was a 5th-century saint in Ireland who was a nephew of Saint Patrick. He was the son of Conis (or Chonis) and Saint Patrick’s sister, Darerca.[1] Saint Darerca was known as the “mother of saints” because most of her children (seventeen sons and two daughters) entered religious life, many were later recognized as saints, and several of her sons became bishops.

Mél and his brothers Melchu, Munis and Rioch accompanied their uncle Patrick to Ireland and helped him with his missionary work there. Mél and his brother Melchu were both reportedly consecrated bishop by Patrick himself. After St Patrick built the church at Ardagh, he appointed Mél as Bishop of Ardagh. According to the Life of St. Brigid, Mél is said to have had no fixed see for most of his life in ministry, which fits with other accounts of his being a traveling missionary and evangelist. Acting upon the apostolic precept, Mél supported himself by working with his hands; what he gained beyond bare necessities, he gave to the poor.