Jean-Baptiste (Joannes) Malou was the son of Joannes-Baptista Malou, merchant, and Maria-Theresia-Xaveria Van den Peereboom. He was ordained priest in Rome on 02.11.1834. On 06.05.1835 he became doctor in theology and in October 1837 professor in dogmatic theology in Leuven. From 1838 onwards he was librarian at the university as well. On 09.09.1840 he was appointed honorary canon at the Brugean cathedral. On 11.12.1848 he was appointed bishop of Bruges, notwithstanding some opposition due to his ultramontanism. On 01.10.1849 he was ordained bishop of Bruges. He remained in this position until his death. In 1854 Gezelle was ordained priest and appointed teacher in Roeselare by him. Later on he called Gezelle to Bruges to manage the English College and teach at the English Seminary later on.