ST. MALACHI, Bishop.
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 longstanding
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 churchyard, and saying that she
had not tasted food for thirty days. EememlDering 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.
Reflection.—Our Lord said to St. Gertrude, " God accepts
every soul you set free, as if you had redeemed him
from captivity, and will reward you in a fitting time for
the benefit you have conferred/'