The St Mahew who founded the Cill of Kilmahew was one of the Celtic missionary monks who, in the 6th century, preached the gospel to the people of the western shores of Scotland. He has been identified, from pre-reformation breviaries, as a prophet and disciple of St Patrick. He was a Briton who converted to Christianity from paganism.
Mahew is a form of Mochta and it is believed that Mahew later went to Ireland where, as Mochta of Louth, he founded an important monastery and gained a great reputation for sanctity, dying in the year AD 535. His monastery remained an important ecclesiastical centre for generations after the his death and continued to send out missionary monks far and wide to establish new centres of Christian life.