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Malchus of Chalcis

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Title: Malchus of Chalcis  
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Subject: March 26 (Eastern Orthodox liturgics)
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Malchus of Chalcis

Saint Malchus of Syria (or Malchus of Chalcis) (died c. 390) was a monk who was sold into slavery and was forced to marry another slave. While never consummating the marriage, he escaped with his wife and returned to his monastery. He is commemorated 26 March by the Eastern Orthodox and Eastern Catholic Churches.


Malchus was the only child of a farming family that resided near Antioch in Syria during the fourth century.

When he reached mature age Malchus' parents desired that he should marry. Malchus secretly left his family home at this time and began his monastic life.

After several years as a monk Malchus heard of his father's death and out of a desire to be with his family at this difficult time he left the monastery against the direction of his abbot. He joined a group of pilgrims headed to his home district, but during their journey they were overtaken by Saracens and sold into slavery.

Malchus' slave master insisted that he marry another of the slaves, but Malchus, faithful to his monastic vocation refused to consummate the union. In time his wife converted to the Christian faith.

Malchus and his wife eventually escaped their master and according to legends received protection from God in the form of a lioness who shared her den with them.

Malchus was a vegetarian who ate only dates, cheese, and milk.[1]

According to records:

Malchus sent his wife to a women's monastery as she requested, while he returned to his own monastery. By then the igumen was no longer alive, and Malchus never left the monastery again. For the edification of monks he often recounted his trials, which were the result of his disobedience. Malchus labored in asceticism in the monastery until the end of his life.[2]

See also

Saints portal


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