Confessor, archbishop of Armagh, born Armagh, Ireland, 1094; died Clairvaux, France, 1148. After ordination he studied liturgy and theology at Lismore, and was Abbot of Bangor, Bishop of Connor (1124), and Archbishop of Armagh (1132), where he restored church discipline, which had become relaxed through the system of lay abbots, and, on resigning the See of Armagh, he became Bishop of Down, where he established the Austin canons; returning from a visit to Rotne he introduced the monks of Clairvaux to Mellifont, 1142. He died in the arms of Saint Bernard while on a second journey to the Eternal City. Represented in his cell, instructing a king who has laid his crown upon the ground. Canonized, 1199. His relics were preserved in the cathedral at Troyes. Feast, 3 November.
In 1590 there was discovered in Rome a collection of 112 mystical mottoes, which were said to have been written down by Saint Malachy during his visit to Rome in 1139, after he had received them in a vision. They purport to be brief descriptions of all the future popes from the time of the vision to the end of the world. The authenticity and the applicability of these mottoes have been questioned, and many consider them a forgery of 1590; but from the end of the 18th century to the present day there has been a number of remarkably apposite mottoes. This does not mean to indicate that the end of the world will occur in the reign of the last pope; the last prophecy is couched in special terms, viz. -
“In the final persecution of the Holy Roman Church, there will reign Peter the Roman, who will feed his flock amid many tribulations, after which the seven-hilled city will be destroyed, and the dreadful Judge will judge the people. The End.”
This means that Peter the Roman is to be the last pope; but there may be an indefinite number of popes between him and his predecessor De Gloria Olivæ (from the glory of the olive-tree).