Saint Malachy O’More

[Pictorial Lives of the Saints: Saint Malachi, Bishop]
Also known as

  • Maelmhaedhoc O’Morgair
  • Maolmhaodhog ua Morgair
  • Maol Maedoc
  • Malachy O’Morgair
  • Malachi
  • Malachy of Armagh
  • Máel Máedóc Ua Morgair

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Son of a teacher; brother of Saint Christian O’Morgair of Clogher. Upon the death of his parents, Malachy entered religious life. Ordained at age 25. Studied under Saint Malchus. Preacher and clerical reformer. Instituted celibacy regulations and other disciplines on the Irish clergy. Re-introduced the use of canonical hour prayers. Abbot at Bangor. Bishop of Connor, Ireland at age 30. Archbishop of Armagh, Ireland at age 35, the chosen successor of Saint Celsus of Armagh. Spiritual teacher of Blessed Christian O’Conarchy.

Malachy replaced the Celtic liturgy (the “Stowe” missal) with the Roman liturgy in an effort to bring uniformity and discipline to the clergy and those in religious life. A miracle worker and healer, he sometimes cured people instantly by laying his hands upon them. Friend of Saint Bernard of Clairvaux who helped him establish the Cistercians in Ireland, wrote a biography of him, and sat with him as he died.

One of Malachy’s great claims to popular fame was his gift of prophesy. While in Rome, Italy in 1139, Malachy received a vision showing him all the Popes from his day to the end of time. He wrote poetic descriptions of each of the pontiffs, presented the manuscript to Pope Innocent II – and it was reportedly forgotten until 1590. It has been in print – and hotly debated, both for authenticity and correctness – ever since. According to these prophecies, there is only one Popes remaining after Benedict XVI. It is most likely a 16th century forgery, but see the quotes below, and have a look at Father Dwight Longnecker‘s column on the prophecies.

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He submitted himself to the rule of man, condemning himself while alive to the grave, that he might attain the true love of God. Not being like those who undertake to teach others what they have never learned themselves, seeking to gather and multiply scholars, without ever having been at school, becoming blind guides of the blind. His obedience as a disciple, his love of silence, his fervor in mortification and prayer, were the means and marks of his spiritual progress. - Saint Bernard of Clairvaux in his Biography

From the first day of his conversion to the last of his life he lived without personal possessions. He had neither manservants nor maidservants; nor villages nor hamlets; nor, in fact, any revenues, ecclesiastical or secular, even when he was bishop. There was nothing whatever assigned for his episcopal upkeep for he had not a house of his own. But he was always going about all the parishes, preaching the Gospel and living by the Gospel…. When he went out to preach he was accompanied by others on foot; bishop and legate that he was he too went on foot. That is the apostolic rule; and it is the more to be admired in Malachy because it is too rare in others…. They lord it over the clergy – he made himself the servant of all. They either do not preach the Gospel and yet eat; or preach the Gospel in order to eat–Malachy imitating Paul, eats that he may preach the Gospel. They suppose that arrogance and gain are godliness – Malachy claims for himself by right only toil and a burden. They count themselves happy if they enlarge their borders–Malachy glories in enlarging charity. They gather into barns and fill the wine-jars that they may load their tables–Malachy foregathers men into deserts and solitudes that he may fill heaven. They though they receive tithes and first-fruits and oblations besides customs and tribute by the gift of Caesar and countless other revenues, nevertheless take counsel as to what they may eat and drink – Malachy having nothing enriches many out of the store-houses of faith. Of their desire and anxiety there is no end–Malachy, desiring nothing, knows not how to be solicitous for tomorrow. They exact from the poor that they may give to the rich – Malachy implores the rich to provide for the poor. They empty the purses of their subjects – he for their sins loads altars with vows and peace offerings. They build lofty palaces, raise towers and ramparts to the skies– Malachy, not having whereon to lay his head, does the work of an evangelist. They ride on horses with a throng of men who eat bread for nought, and that is not theirs – Malachy girt around by a throng of holy brethren goes on foot bearing the bread of angels. They do not even know their congregation–he instructs them. They honor powerful men and tyrants–he punishes them. O apostolic man! whom so many and such striking signs of apostleship adorn. What wonder that he has wrought such wonder, being so great a wonder himself. - Saint Bernard of Clairvaux advising Pope Eugenius III on handling his pontificate by emulating Malachy

Prophecies concerning the final five Popes:

The words of the 108th prophesy are “Flos Florum” (Flower of Flowers). The 108th pope after Innocent II was Paul VI (1963-78). His coat of arms included three fleurs-de-lis (iris blossoms).

The 109th is “De Medietate Lunae” (Of the Half Moon). The corresponding pope was John Paul I (1978-78), who was born in the diocese of Belluno (beautiful moon) and was baptized Albino Luciani (white light). He became pope on August 26, 1978, when the moon appeared exactly half full. It was in its waning phase. He died the following month, soon after an eclipse of the moon.

The 110th is “De Labore Solis” (Of the Solar Eclipse, or, From the Toil of the Sun). The corresponding pope was John Paul II (1978 to 2005). John Paul II was born on May 8, 1920 during an eclipse of the sun. Like the sun, he came out of the East (Poland). Like the sun, he visited countries all around the globe while doing his work (he is the most-traveled pope in history).

The 111th prophesy is “Gloria Olivae” (The Glory of the Olive). The Order of Saint Benedict had claimed that this pope will come from their ranks; Saint Benedict himself prophesied that before the end of the world his Order, known also as the Olivetans, will triumphantly lead the Catholic Church in its fight against evil. The corresponding pope to this description is Benedict XVI

The 112th prophesy says: “In the final persecution of the Holy Roman Church there will reign Petrus Romanus (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.”

MLA Citation

  • “Saint Malachy O’More“. Saints.SQPN.com. 2 November 2013. Web. 19 April 2014. <>