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Saint Maudez (Mawes, Maudetus)

(Sixth Century A.D.)


Maudez (Mawes, Maudetus) may be related to an Old French or Old German name that means “Mighty in Battle.”


Sometimes we know very little about someone’s life, but we do know what they left behind. What is left behind is called our legacy. Saint Maudez, also called Saint Mawes and Saint Maudetus, left a wonderful and holy legacy, even though we know very little about his life.


Saint Maudez was born sometime in the sixth century. This was five hundred years after Jesus died. People lived without any modern conveniences and experienced many troubles from diseases, poor weather, bad crops, and warring tribes.


Maudez seems to have been born in Ireland or Wales, but he sailed to Brittany, which was part of northwestern France. At that time in the early 500’s, King Childebert I was ruling. Maudez was not so intrigued by war and power, as kings were. Maudez was interested in peace and faith in Christ.

At some point, Maudez devoted his life to God by becoming a monk. Other men recognized his holiness and wanted to learn from him so they lived and journeyed with him as his disciples. Wanting to be alone to pray, they settled on a small island off the coast of southern France.


Maudez burned all the grass on this island to clear it of snakes, rats, mice, and insects. People believe that earth from this island is useful today in ridding one’s property of similar pests.


However, Maudez did not remain on the island. He and his disciples would travel about Amorica, a peninsula of France in Brittany, to tell the people about Jesus, to encourage converts, and to build churches. Maudez made good use of open space and was known for teaching in the open air.

We don’t know much more than this about Saint Maudez. However, we do know of many villages and chapels named after him. These prove that the people highly respected and loved Maudez and wanted to honor and remember him.


Saint Maudez left behind a legacy of love and faith. After we die, we leave a legacy, too, of memories, projects, and activities. What legacy would you like to leave behind? Ask God to let you know so that you can begin to work now for Him and for His Kingdom.

Saint Maudez en la chapelle St-Guénolé d'Ergué-Gabéric

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