During his childhood Malachi would often separate himself from his companions to converse in prayer with God. At the age of twenty-five he was ordained priest; his devotion and zeal led to his being consecrated Bishop of Connor, and shortly afterwards he was made Archbishop of his native city Armagh. This see having by a long-standing abuse been held as an heirloom in one family, it required on the part of the Saint no little tact and firmness to allay the dissensions caused by his election.
One day, while St. Malachi was burying the dead, he was laughed at by his sister. When she died, he said many Masses for her. Some time afterwards, in a vision, he saw her, dressed in mourning, standing in a church-yard, and saying that she had not tasted food for thirty days. Remembering that it was just thirty days since he last offered the Adorable Sacrifice for her, he began again to do so, and was rewarded by other visions, in the last of which he saw her within the church, clothed in white, near the altar, and surrounded by bright spirits.
He twice made a pilgrimage to Rome to consult Christ’s Vicar, the first time returning as Papal Legate, amid the joy of his people, with the pall for Armagh; but the second time bound for a happier home. He was taken ill at Clairvaux. He died, aged fifty-four, where he fain would have lived, in St. Bernard’s monastery, on the 2d of November, 1148.
Illustration and text from Pictorial Lives of the Saints With Reflections for Every Day in the Year (New York: Benziger Bros., 1922).