The life of a saint by a saint. Malachy OMorgair spent his life and considerable energies exhorting, wheedling, badgering, and praying his countrymen back to christian faith and practice. Bernard holds him up in this Life, eulogy, and hymn as a model to bishops.
Bernard of Clairvaux
The HarperCollins Spiritual Classics series presents short, accessible introductions to the foundational works that shaped Western religious thought and culture. This series seeks to find new readers for these dynamic spiritual voices - voices that have changed lives throughout the centuries and still can today.
While medieval hagiography is never unambiguously reliable as a historical source, these works do present a clear statement of Bernards ideals of sanctity. They also present a generally accurate picture of the Irish church in the mid-twelfth century, a church living amid great social disorder and as yet untouched by the Gregorian reform or the new monastic institution.
- Church History
St. Malachy, a 12th-century Irish monk, might have drifted into obscurity if he had not left behind a set of prophecies suggesting that the Second Coming would occur during the early decades of this century.
Although often dismissed as a forgery, the prophecies identify all the popes from 1143 onward, suggesting that there will be only two more after the current pope. So, not surprisingly, both the prophecies and their author have drawn considerable attention in recent years.
This rather specialized volume has assumed added importance because of the "end-time" speculation accompanying the change of the millennium. Nevertheless, St. Bernards biography of Malachy is an interesting look at a medieval religious figure seen through the eyes of his contemporaries. It contains the usual medieval fare, such as wordy descriptions of miracles and other incidents that are probably more legend than fact, but it also contains a core of solid history by one of the leading monastics of the Middle Ages.
- C. Bruce Hunter, renaissancemagazine.com