John of the Grate
John Of The Grate (so-called from an iron grating which surrounded his sepulchre), Saint, bishop and confessor, was a Breton, born in 1098. He made rapid progress in his studies, and was made bishop of Aleth. As a bishop his life was embittered by a series of lawsuits with the monks of Marmoutiers. He wished to remove his episcopal see to the island of St. Malo, Aleth being exposed to pirates. But the monks claimed the Church of St. Malo, the pope decided in their favor, and Lucius II at length condemned John to lose his see. He then retired under the protection of St. Bernard to Clairvaux, until, on the death of Lucius, a monk of Clairvaux (Eugenius III) was elevated to the papal throne. John appealed again and was heard. His rights were restored, and the monks of Marmoutiers were obliged to cede the Church of St. Malo to the bishop. It was during his bishopric that the strange heresy of the fanatical Eon de l'toile (q.v.) broke out, and John tried by persuasion and instruction to disabuse of their heresy such of the enthusiasts as overran his diocese, and succeeded in converting many. John of the Grate died February 1, 1163. He immediately received popular reverence as a saint, and numerous miracles are said to have augmented the reverence of the people. In 1517 Denis Brigonnet, ambassador of the king to Rome, obtained from Leo X permission for him to be commemorated in a solemn office as a confessor bishop. Monsignor Antoine Joseph des Laurents, last bishop of St. Malo but one, examined John's relics, October 15, 1784. During the revolution they were ordered to be cast into the sea, but the order was countermanded. and the sexton was required to bury them in the common fosse in the cemetery. In November 1799, M. Manet, a priest who had remained through the Reign of Terror in St. Malo, verified the relics. In a sealed box, March 7, 1823, they were deposited in their ancient shrine, and November 16, 1839, by the sanction of the pope, they were finally installed with great ceremony, and are now in the Church of St. Malo. The authorities for the life of John of the Grate are Albertus Magnus of Morlaix, and the letters of Bernard and Nicholas of Clairvaux. His festival is observed as a double by the Church of St. Malo, in Brittany, and his name appears in Saussaye's supplement to the Gallican martyrology. See Baring-Gould, Lives of the Saints, 2:26 (sub February 1, his day).