In the Liturgical calendar, today is the Feast Day of Mael Maédoc Uá Morgair, St Malachy of Armagh

Malachy (1094–1148) was an Irish saint and Archbishop of Armagh, to whom were attributed several miracles and an alleged vision of 112 popes later attributed to the apocryphal (i.e. of doubtful authenticity) Prophecy of the Popes.

Malachy was the first native-born Irish saint to be canonised. His brother was Gilla Críst Ua Morgair, who later became Bishop Christian of Clogher from 1126 to 1138.

Pope Benedict’s resignation stirred up a generous amount of discussion of the so-called ‘Prophecy of the Popes,’ attributed to St Malachy of Ireland. The prophecy is a list of 112 mottoes that allegedly describe the popes stretching from St Malachy’s time to the end of time. Purportedly, Pope Benedict is identified with #111, which means that there’s only one more pope to go, according to one interpretation of the list.

According to supporters of the prophecy, it’s an authentic revelation from God that we can trust. According to critics of the prophecy, it’s a forgery that was most likely written around 1590 and that cannot be relied upon for knowledge of the future.

The influence of St Malachy in Irish ecclesiastical affairs has been compared with that of Boniface in Germany. He reformed and reorganised the Irish Church and brought it into subjection to Rome; like Boniface, he was a zealous reformer and a promoter of monasticism.

St Malachy’s feast is celebrated on 3 November, so it won’t clash with All Souls Day. He is Patron Saint of the Archdiocese of Armagh and the Diocese of Down and Connor. St Malachy’s Church, Belfast was intended to be the Cathedral Church of Down and Connor dedicated in honour of the Diocesan Patron. However, the An Gorta Mor broke out and the grand plans for the St Malachy’s Cathedral were shelved in order to divert funds to the needy.

Statue of Malachy, Sterling Heights, Michigan

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