It all had started with the approaching death of Malchus’ aged mother. Malchus, therefore had requested and obtained permission from his superior to visit her. On the way to his mother’s home, Malchus was attacked by robbers (Saracens), and taken prisoner. These men then sold him to an Arab as a slave. By the mercy of God, Malchus was fortunate to have a fellow-slave who too was a Catholic and also a good, pious man. The two slaves were cruelly treated. Their master loaded them with work that was both painful and difficult. The two Catholics therefore became very desirous of regaining their freedom.
One day, God answered their prayers with a favorable opportunity to escape. Taking advantage of this, the former captives took flight. They had such success as to make it all the way to the desert without anyone even noticing their absence.