Dictionary of National Biography, 1885-1900/Mel

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MEL (d. 487), Irish saint, is believed by Irish writers and in the district to have been founder of the see of Ardagh, now in co. Longford, a part of the ancient kingdom of Teffia in Meath. The genealogists do not attach him to any great clan, but state only that his father was Conis and his mother Darerca, sister of St. Patrick. Except a visit to Britain, and the foundation of the church and monastery of Ardagh about 454, and the confirmation of St. Brigit, all the events of his life are miraculous or symbolical. St. Brigit turned water into beer for him to drink, he fished for salmon, when visited by St. Patrick, in the puddles of a ploughed field, he prophesied the greatness of Brigit before her birth. The chronicles mention his death in 487, and he is noticed frequently in the lives of St. Patrick and St. Brigit. No early life of him is extant. His feast is kept on 6 Feb.

[J. Colgan's Acta Sanctorum Hiberniæ, Louvain, 1645, vol. i.; Annals of Ulster, ed. W. M. Hennessy, 1887, p. 29; W. Stokes's Tripartite Life of St. Patrick, 1887, vols. i. and ii., and Three Middle-Irish Homilies, Calcutta, 1877, and Life of St. Brigit, pp. 182–200, in Lives of Saints from the Book of Lismore, Oxford, 1890.]

N. M.