|A feast for Malchus|
The only son of a poor farmer living near Nisibis (Nusaybin) in Syria, Malchus joined a monastery and lived obediently for a while. When word reached him that his father died, he asked permission to go home and check on his mom. Fearing that he would never return, the igumen (abbot) denied Malchus' request. Whether or not Malchus the fifth commandment (the one about honoring parents) in mind or not, he bolted the monastery and set out for home.
|A breakfast for Phelps|
His master decided that all his herds needed increasing and thus insisted that Malchus marry a certain widow he owned. Neither Malchus nor the widow were interested in a conjugal life, but they made a good show of it to avoid punishment. At least that's what Malchus told the brothers when he eventually got back to the monastery -- what passed between the slave-saint and his widow-wife is known only to them and the Lord.
|Almonds make the fare a treat, cranberries an exotic luxury|
|Bacon-wrapped dates? Better give them to Phelps|
“It is not enough to be industrious; so are the ants. What are you industrious about?”
Saint Malchus, having professed himself a monk, was reminded by the ants that he had pledged obedience and communal service. He returned to the monastery from which he had fled. He lived long there, never leaving again, and frequently told his tale as a warning to spirited young brothers in hopes that they would learn from his mistake.
Quick side note: On October 21, 2012, Pope Benedict XVI presided over the canonization of seven new saints, including Kateri Tekakwitha and Marianne Cope. The story is linked here.