Father Davide Pagliarani

The Blessed Virgin Mary has always been present in the history of the Society 

Fr. Davide Pagliarani, the newly elected Superior General of the Society of Saint Pius X, kindly accepted to answer the questions asked by FSSPX NEWS in a video interview. Here is the written transcription of his answers.

Reverend Superior General, how do you feel after your election?

Let’s say that I had, of course, heard some rumors beforehand. However, I was wondering how much of it was a joke or if there was anything to it at all. So I was waiting until today. I have to admit that even now, I’m not sure how much I realize what happened today.

It’s been a long day, but the week before, during our retreat, I left everything in the hands of the Blessed Virgin Mary and Divine Providence. I really think that she has always been present in the history of the Society. She is also guiding this Chapter and all of us. But maybe it’s too early yet for me to think about it.

Could you please introduce yourself?

I’m from Rimini, a town on the Adriatic coast of Italy, where there has been a priory of the Society for a long time. That’s where I first came in contact with the Society of Saint Pius X. I entered the Seminary of Flavigny in 1989. Then I did my military service. In 1996, I was ordained a priest. I spent seven years as a priest in the town where I was born, three years in Singapore, then I came back to Italy, and I have been in Argentina for six and a half years. And now I’m here.

Until now you were rector of the seminary in Argentina…

I think that what’s going to be hardest for me will be having to leave that place. I find that it’s the most beautiful place for a priest, and in particular for a priest of the Society. The heart of the Society is our seminaries. It’s not Menzingen! I think you know what I mean…

That’s where priests are formed and you can see how grace, still today, can completely transform a young man. Every vocation is a miracle, and I’m convinced that you fully understand what the Society is when you’ve worked in a seminary.

What do you expect from your two assistants?

I have to admit that they are two men for whom I have great respect. I know them fairly well because I knew Father Bouchacourt in Argentina, and I also know Bishop de Galarreta quite well. I consider myself quite lucky to work with people older than myself, people who give sound advice and, I have to say, with a priest as friendly as Father Bouchacourt.

Do you have any projects planned for the Society of Saint Pius X?

The goal of the Society is the formation of priests. However, at the same time, the priest has to continue to mature, to learn, and to sanctify himself his whole life long. I believe that’s where we need to concentrate all of our efforts to help priests persevere in the quest for holiness.

I really think that each priest, each priestly life, is a little bit like a violin cord that has to be correctly tightened and adjusted so that it can always produce the right note…the note that God expects from each one of us. So from seminary life and training to what is expected of the priest afterwards in the ministry, a certain unity and continuity in the quest for holiness must continue. I am convinced that this is the solution to the majority of our problems.

What do you expect from the faithful and what do you think that they expect from you?

That’s a good question. It’s easy to answer the first part. First of all, I would like to thank the faithful for all of their prayers for this Chapter and tell them that the Chapter has only just begun. So now we have to discuss with all the subjects on the agenda over the next few days. Thus I thank them for their prayers since the month of January, and I ask them now to generously redouble their efforts.

And then, what do they expect from me? I think that they expect the Society to be faithful to its foundational mission. I’ve already mentioned that it was founded to form priests, but the priesthood exists for the sanctification of souls, and so the fidelity of priests to their priesthood, to their own sanctification, necessarily affects the faithful. That’s what the faithful expect, not only from me, but from all the priests of the Society.

Reposted from the Society of Saint Pius X, here.

   

Return to Fatima Editor: And so we see that our new Superior General is devoted to the Blessed Virgin Mary and faithful to the foundational mission of saintly Archbishop Lefbvre, which is to form holy priests and through those priests the sanctification of souls. I especially liked this quote:

I believe that’s where we need to concentrate all of our efforts to help priests persevere in the quest for holiness. . . . each priest, each priestly life, is a little bit like a violin cord that has to be correctly tightened and adjusted so that it can always produce the right note…the note that God expects from each one of us. So from seminary life and training to what is expected of the priest afterwards in the ministry, a certain unity and continuity in the quest for holiness must continue. I am convinced that this is the solution to the majority of our problems.

This is the man we have prayed for! Blessed be God forever! Now we must continue our prayers and sacrifices to support our priests but also, with those prayers, many joyful rosaries for thanksgiving for this blessing we are given.

Update, 8:15 am, A reader has pointed out that we should understand the inevitability of a particularly vicious attack from the ancient enemy, for this is his hour and the power of darkness. As Father requested, please redouble your prayers.

Please, Pray the Rosary for all our Catholic priests!

† . Immaculate Heart of Mary, Queen of our hearts, Mother of the Church, do thou offer to the Eternal Father the Precious Blood of Our Lord Jesus Christ, for the conversion of poor sinners, especially our Pontiff.
† . Most Sacred Heart of Jesus, Thy kingdom come! Viva Cristo Rey!
† . St. Joseph, protect us, protect our families, protect our priests.

Tradidi quod et accepi, 2018

Please do not dismiss this as just another repost! I present it again because there is an urgent need to dwell on the meaning of the legacy of this brave and saintly man. His goodness and wisdom must still guide us today if we are to follow him as faithful servants of the Immaculate Heart of Mary. It is offered without commentary because any words of mine would simply detract from it.

“Today, by consecrating these bishops, I am convinced that I am keeping alive Tradition, that is to say, the Catholic Church.”
'Tradidi enim vobis, in primis quod et accepi" 1 Cor. 15, 3.
‘Tradidi enim vobis, in primis quod et accepi”
1 Cor. 15, 3.
In one word, the life of Tradition is a life of contemplation of the Eternal Truth and love of the Eternal Good–not a constant change! (Abp. Marcel Lefebvre)

On June 30, 1988 Archbishop Marcel Lefebvre, founder of the Society of St. Pius X, and Bishop Antonio de Castro Mayer, bishop emeritus of Campos, Brazil, consecrated four bishops at the seminary of Econe, Switzerland, in the presence of 10,000 faithful and hundreds of priests and religious.

In the July, 1988 issue of The Angelus, Rev.  Father Francois Laisney, then District Superior of the Society in the United States wrote about the historical Episcopal Consecrations. The following are some excerpts. I believe the entire article is available online at The Angelus Archives.

Christ has given to His Church the complete Deposit of Faith. Each individual may deepen his knowledge of this Deposit, but the Church had it all since its beginning. The Church may defend it more and more explicitly against the negators and the heresies, but neither adds to it, nor loses any parcel of this Eternal Truth.

The Church possesses, from the beginning, the Perfect Example of Virtue: the Life of Our Lord Jesus Christ. All the saints have imitated Him; we have to follow in their footsteps. The way to heaven is not to be invented; there is one, and only one; it is Our Lord Jesus Christ: “I am the Way, the Truth and the Life. No one comes to the Father but by Me!”

Therefore there can be no change in the Church’s morals, which are all summed up in these words of Our Lord: “Be ye perfect as your Heavenly Father is perfect” (Mt. 5:48). The Divine Perfection is eternal and immutable. In heaven the saints “rest” in God, thus without changes, sharing Divine Eternity. On the contrary, in hell, the damned will be tormented by unrest: the unceasing succession and changes of torments, one worse than the other. Folly of those who love change for the sake of change! They might have an eternity of changes… in hell!

If there is some change in the Church as such, it is her wonderful capability of putting into practice her eternal principles to meet the needs of each era. This is particularly manifested in the many religious orders which have sprung up throughout the whole history of the Church. All of them follow the same Model: Jesus Christ, and the same principles of Faith and morals, but adapt them to their particular circumstances. In this regard, one can see Tradition living in the work of Archbishop Lefebvre and all the other traditional foundations. They have all come to the Eternal Principles to receive Eternal Life from them.

In one word, the life of Tradition is a life of contemplation of the Eternal Truth and love of the Eternal Good–not a constant change!

Injustices of the Condemnation
Those who condemn us, try to accuse us of not being faithful to the “living” Tradition. I hope the above reflections show that the true faithful to the Living Tradition are those who keep it and live it, without adulterating it with the spirit of the world. This is the very meaning of the word “faithful,” i.e., the one who keeps the Faith! Not the one who changes it! Liberal principles, which the Popes have repeatedly condemned, shall never be able to become a part of the Catholic Faith. In a time when so many have tried to marry the Church and the Revolution, it is urgent to keep Tradition, and to provide for its continuation. Therefore, according to the very principles of Canon Law, in cases of real emergency, there can be no sanction. Any sanction is unjust, since its motive is to destroy the Tradition of the Church, to refuse it the means to continue.

If any one still had doubts, the Good Lord in His divine providence, arranged some enlightening coincidences. On the very same day, June 30th, Rome was publishing a directory for “Celebrations Without Priests.” When Archbishop Lefebvre was providing for the continuation of the Catholic Priesthood, Rome was providing for the absence of priests! What will be these celebrations? They will be much like Protestant services.

Another coincidence, in the widely diffused USA Today, of July 1, the article announcing the Roman sanction against Archbishop Lefebvre was just above an article concerning Archbishop Hunthausen[5], entitled “Masses for Homosexuals”; the Archbishop of Seattle was resuming this abominable practice! If one had doubts about Archbishop Lefebvre’s rights, he had just to read a little further to get the answer: there is no justice in this current situation!

And Our Attitude Now?
“Be not overcome by evil, but overcome evil by good.” These words of St. Paul are for each one of us. When evil seems to reign, we must not be discouraged and fall into bitterness. Our Lord, at the height of the hatred of the Jews and compromises of Pilate, did not curse, but rather prayed for His enemies: “Father, forgive them, they know not what they do.” This must be our attitude: pray for the Church, pray for the Pope, pray for the bishops, that they may come back, as the Apostles who had abandoned Our Lord on Good Friday came back to the Faith on Easter Sunday. But do not follow them in their abandon; stay at the foot of the Cross with the few faithful to Christ, to the Sacrifice of Calvary, to the Sacrifice of the Mass.

This is a time for heroism–heroic faith and heroic charity. “Do not render evil for evil, nor cursing for cursing, but, on the contrary, blessing” (I Pet. 111:9). “Love your enemies, do good to your enemies, do good to those who hate you: and pray for those who persecute and calumniate you” (Mt. 5:44).

Indeed, Tradition is not only the handing down through the centuries of the Deposit of Faith, but also the example of the holiness of Our Lord, the examples of the saints. May the Blessed Virgin Mary help all of us to be faithful to the whole of Tradition: to the Truth and holiness of Our Lord Jesus Christ.

We are what we have always been—Catholics carrying on. That is all.
We are what we have always been—Catholics carrying on. That is all.

The four new bishops, Bernard Tissier de Mallerais (born 1945, France), Richard Williamson (born 1940, England), Alfonso de Galarreta (born 1957, Spain), and Bernard Fellay (born 1958, Switzerland), were chosen by Archbishop Lefebvre among the members of the Society of St. Pius X because “they seemed to us the most apt, whilst being in circumstances and in functions which permit them more easily to fulfill their episcopal ministry, to confirm your children, and to be able to confer ordinations in our various seminaries,” as he explained in the sermon of the ceremony of consecrations.

Neither schismatic nor excommunicated
In the same sermon, Archbishop Lefebvre emphasized the extraordinary circumstances justifying his grave decision:

It is not for me to know when Tradition will regain its rights in Rome, but I think it is my duty to provide the means of doing that which I shall call “Operation Survival,” operation survival for Tradition. Today, this day, is “Operation Survival.

If I had made this deal with Rome, by continuing with the agreements we had signed, and by putting them into practice, it would have been “Operation Suicide.” There is no choice, we must survive. That is why today, by consecrating these bishops, I am convinced that I am keeping alive Tradition, that is to say, the Catholic Church.”

One year after the consecrations, in an interview published in the July-August 1989 issue of the SSPX’s magazine in France, Fideliter, the archbishop maintained that

We should have no hesitation or scruples with regard to these episcopal consecrations. We are neither schismatic nor excommunicated, and we are not against the pope. We are not against the Catholic Church. We are not creating a parallel Church. All that is absurd. We are what we have always been—Catholics carrying on. That is all.”

The role of our bishops
Their ministerial function being limited to the administration of the sacraments of holy orders and confirmation, our bishops neither received nor claimed any episcopal jurisdiction over priests or faithful.

In his 1989 interview by Fideliter, Archbishop Lefebvre stated that:

The four bishops are there to give ordinations and confirmations, to replace me and to do what I did for several years. For the rest, it is clearly the district superiors who are given a territory which is theirs and who, as far as they can, go to the help of the souls calling for them. For these souls have the right to have the sacraments and the Truth, the right to be saved. And, so we go to help them, and it is the request of these souls which grants us the right, as foreseen by Canon Law, to minister to them.”

In his letter to the four candidates, August 29, 1987, Archbishop Lefebvre had already explained that

The main purpose of my passing on the episcopacy is that the grace of priestly orders be continued, for the true Sacrifice of the Mass to be continued, and that the grace of the sacrament of confirmation be bestowed upon children and upon the faithful who will ask you for it.”

Archbishop Lefebvre insisted on their attachment to the Holy See and on their service to his priestly Society:

I beseech you to remain attached to the See of Peter, to the Roman Church, Mother and Mistress of all Churches, keeping in its entirety the Catholic Faith as expressed in the various creeds of the Faith, in the Catechism of the Council of Trent, in conformity with what you were taught in your seminary. Remain faithful in the handing down of this Faith so that the Kingdom of Our Lord may come.

Finally, I beseech you to remain attached to the Priestly Society of St. Pius X, to remain profoundly united amongst yourselves, in submission to the Society’s Superior General, in the Catholic Faith of all time, remembering the words of St. Paul to the Galatians (1:8-9): ‘But even if we or an angel from heaven were to teach you a different gospel from the one we have taught you, let him be anathema.’

The Roman reaction to the consecrations
On July 1, 1988, Cardinal Bernardin Gantin, Prefect of the Congregation for Bishops, signed a decree of excommunication announcing that Archbishop Lefebvre, Bishop de Castro Mayer, and the four new bishops had performed a schismatic act and excommunicated themselves latae sententiae (automatically) in accordance with the provisions of canon 1382 of the Code of Canon Law:

“A bishop who consecrates someone a bishop without a pontifical mandate and the person who receives the consecration from him incur a latae sententiae excommunication reserved to the Apostolic See.”

The following day, July 2, 1988, Pope John Paul II issued the apostolic letter motu proprio, Ecclesia Dei adflicta, confirming the excommunications and the existence of a schism.

The Society of St. Pius X has always contested the juridical validity of the censure. Besides other considerations, the excommunication was not incurred because a person who violates a law out of necessity is not subject to a penalty (canon 1323 §4), and even if there is no state of necessity, when one inculpably thought the opposite he would not incur the penalty (canon 1323 §7); and if one culpably thought there was such a state of necessity, he would still incur no automatic penalties (canon 1324 §3).

Accusation of schism
As for the accusation of schism, Archbishop Lefebvre always recognized the pope’s authority. Consecrating a bishop without pontifical mandate would be a schismatic act if one pretended to confer not just the fullness of the priesthood but also jurisdiction, a governing power over a particular flock. Only the pope, who has universal jurisdiction over the whole Church, can appoint a pastor to a flock and empower him to govern it. But Archbishop Lefebvre never presumed to confer anything but the full priestly powers of holy orders.

Cardinal Rosalio Castillo Lara, President of the Pontifical Commission for the Authentic Interpretation of Canon Law, in La Repubblica, October 7, 1988, stated that the consecrations performed by Archbishop Lefebvre and Bishop de Castro Mayer did not constitute an act of schism (“The mere fact of consecrating a bishop is not in itself a schismatic act”).

The Dean of the Faculty of Canon Law of the Catholic Institute of Paris, Fr. Patrick Valdrini, confirmed that “it is not the consecration of a bishop that creates a schism; what consummates the schism is to confer upon that bishop an apostolic mission” (Valeurs Actuelles, July 4, 1988).

And Cardinal Dario Castrillon Hoyos, President of the Pontifical Commission Ecclesia Dei, has declared, on at least five separate occasions in public interviews (30 Giorni n. 9, 2005), that the Society of St. Pius X is not in a situation of formal schism. He has also affirmed that “the bishops, priests, and faithful of the Society of St. Pius X are not schismatics.” (Die Tagespost, February 8, 2007)

Finally, on January 21, 2009, a decree of the Congregation for Bishops, signed by its Prefect, Cardinal Giovanni Battista Re, based on the faculties expressly granted by Pope Benedict XVI, declared the decree of July 1, 1988, to be deprived of any juridical effect. (Source)

The above posting is simply to honor the very brave act of Archbishop Lefebvre 30 years ago this month. It is not my intention to defend Archbishop Lefebvre’s actions, because they do not need defending.

Those who have the Latin Mass today, no matter their affiliation, owe this brave and saintly man such a huge debt of gratitude, for his actions, by saving tradition, saved the Church, saved the faith. 

Remember, pray the Rosary and confound the devil!

A Perpetual Crusade

“We should have a crusade …  supported by the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass, by the Blood of Our Lord Jesus Christ, by that invincible rock, that inexhaustible source of grace, the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass.”  Archbishop Marcel Lefebvre, September 23, 1979.

Yesterday, a very dear reader of ours confided his concern that the Rosary and Reparation Crusade of the Society of St. Pius X fell short of their goal. Although the Society had hoped for 12 million Rosaries, the figures, which are not complete, stand currently at 8.1 million.

The link to the Society’s notice about the results of the Crusade is here.   The latest crusade followed close upon the previous one, and it was suggested that perhaps the faithful were spiritually exhausted and becoming  resigned to our fate. There is possibly some truth in that.  The priests of the Society are experiencing severe trials, and the laity as well, with the uncertainty spread by constant rumors that Bishop Fellay would lead the Society into a trap set by the occupiers of the Vatican.  This strategy  is very well explained by Dr. Brian McCall at Catholic Family News. (A Society Divided Against Itself: SSPX Ranks Must Preserve Internal Unity)

While I agree that Rome’s strategy has indeed wreaked havoc by drawing away so many highly valued and in many cases, dearly loved comrades, I’d like to comment from a different perspective.  The quote at the top of the page is from  Archbishop Lefebvre, from his Sermon on the occasion of his Sacerdotal Jubilee, back in 1979.

Now, Bishop Fellay, in calling for the latest Rosary Crusade was following in Archbishop Lefebvre’s footsteps and I believe that the results of this last Rosary and Reparation Crusade were actually very good, considering the period we are in.  I’ll explain in a moment but first,  let’s recall the intentions:

Bishop Fellay stated that the Crusade is intended to follow the intentions of Our Lady of the Rosary herself:

(I) Jesus wishes to establish in the world the devotion to the Immaculate Heart of Mary.

In order to do so, all the faithful are invited:

  • to recite the rosary daily, alone or as a family;
  • to accomplish the devotion of the reparatory communion on five first Saturdays, and to multiply their daily sacrifices in a spirit of reparation for the outrages against Mary;
  • to wear the miraculous medal themselves and to diffuse it around them;
  • to consecrate their homes to the Immaculate Heart of Mary. [Family Consecration Prayer is in sidebar to the right.]

Besides the propagation of this devotion, we will also pray

(II) for the triumph of the Immaculate Heart and

(III) for the pope and all the bishops of the Catholic world to consecrate Russia to the Sorrowful and Immaculate Heart of Mary.

And as a special intention we will add

(IV) the protection of the Blessed Virgin Mary for the Society of St. Pius X and all its members in addtition to all the religious communities of Tradition. (Source, SSPX)

The goal set by Bishop Bernard Fellay is a bouquet of 12 million rosaries and 50 million sacrifices for Our Lady of Fatima.

Now. admittedly, that was a tall order for all those who had just successfully completed an earlier Rosary Crusade.  And 8.1 million Rosaries is no small thing! The fact that Bishop Fellay called for this Rosary Crusade meant to me that he is acting in the same spirit as our beloved Archbishop Lefebvre and is relying on Our Lady of the Rosary and following her instructions at Fatima . That indicates most definitely that the Crusade is a success! For if we ask for her help, we are guaranteed success, she herself has promised it.

To be clear: If we obey Our Lady, we have already succeeded, because that obedience is what counts with Our Lord, not the results!  Obedience itself is what Our Lord asks of us.

We have her word, and we saw immediate results – Cardinal Mueller’s remarks made any further rapprochement with the Vatican useless and we were spared the constant “dialogues” and the treacherous rumors as well. Those rumors caused so much harm! And soon we will have the General Chapter for the priests of the Society and surely those millions of heartfelt rosaries will help that as well.

When I attend Mass at our Chapel, I am mindful of our holy Archbishop who preached all those long years ago:

And you, dear priests, who hear me now, you too must make a profound sacerdotal union to spread this crusade, to animate this crusade in order that Jesus reign, that Our Lord reign. And to do that you must be holy. You must seek after sanctity and manifest it to others, this holiness, this grace which acts in your souls and in your hearts, this grace which you receive by the Sacrament of Holy Eucharist and by the Holy Mass which you offer, which you alone are capable of offering.

I shall finish, my dearly beloved brethren, by what I shall call my testament. Testament—that is a very profound word—because I want it to be the echo of the testament of Our Lord: Novi et aeterni testamenti.

Novi et aeterni testamenti—it is the priest who recites these words at the consecration of the Precious Blood—Hic est enim calix Sanguinis mei: novi et aeterni testamenti. This inheritance which Jesus Christ gave to us, it is His Sacrifice, it is His Blood, it is His Cross. the ferment of all Christian civilization and of all that is necessary for salvation.

And I say to you as well: for the glory of the Most Blessed Trinity, for the love of Our Lord Jesus Christ, for the devotion to the Blessed Virgin Mary, for the love of the Church, for the love of the Pope, for the love of bishops, of priests, of all the faithful, for the salvation of the world, for the salvation of souls, keep this testament of Our Lord Jesus Christ! Keep the Sacrifice of Our Lord Jesus Christ. Keep the Mass of All Time!

And you will see civilization reflourish, a civilization which is not of this world, but a civilization which leads to the Catholic City which is heaven. The Catholic city of this world is made for nothing else than for the Catholic City of heaven.

Thus by keeping the Blood of Our Lord Jesus Christ, by keeping His Sacrifice, by keeping this Mass—this Mass which has been bequeathed to us by our predecessors, this Mass which has been transmitted from the time of the Apostles unto this day. In a few moments I am going to pronounce these words above the chalice of my ordination, and how could you expect me to pronounce above the chalice of my ordination any other words but those which I pronounced 50 years ago over this same chalice—it is impossible! I cannot change the words! We shall therefore continue to pronounce the words of the consecration as our predecessors have taught us, as the Pope, bishops and priests who have been our instructors, have taught us, so that Our Lord Jesus Christ reign, and so that souls be saved through the intercession of our Good Mother in heaven.

SOURCE

So when Msgr. Fellay called this latest Crusade and when those 8+ million rosaries were said, the Society was and is winning this battle and because of them, because of all the faithful within the Society and throughout the Church, the true children of Mary, we are all winning this perpetual Crusade which will continue until the enemy is ejected from the Holy Place. For the brief moment, the ancient enemy has obscured the true Church, but we know that the Immaculate Mother of God will triumph and Our Lord Jesus Christ will once again restore His Bride, the Church.

Readers, we can never be betrayed by Our Lady – as will be very clear before long.  In her own words on June 13, 1917, she said of Our Lord Jesus Christ:

 “He wants to establish in the world devotion to my Immaculate Heart. To whoever embraces this devotion, I promise salvation; these souls shall be dear to God, as flowers placed by me to adorn His throne…my daughter…I shall never abandon you! My Immaculate Heart will be your refuge and the way which will lead you to God.” (Fatima in Mary’s Words)

I assure you, as long as the FSSPX is faithful to the Immaculata, she will be with them, and there will be no failures, although the world may not often grasp this.  For the successes of the world are often failures in eternity and Our Lord, in His actions as well as His teachings assures us that what the enemy perceives as His failures are  triumphs: “For whosoever will save his life, shall lose it: and whosoever shall lose his life for My sake and the gospel, shall save it.” (Mark 8, 35)

Please, Pray the Rosary and live your Consecration – Souls depend on it!

  Immaculate Heart of Mary, Queen of our hearts, Mother of the Church, do thou offer to the Eternal Father the Precious Blood of Our Lord Jesus Christ, for the conversion of poor sinners, especially our Pontiff.
  Most Sacred Heart of Jesus, Thy kingdom come! Viva Cristo Rey!
  Immaculate Heart of Mary, pray for us now and at the hour of our death.
  St. Joseph, protect us, protect our families, protect our priests.
  St. Michael the Archangel, defend us in battle.

Please pray for the Consecration of Russia to the Immaculate Heart of Mary!

~ by evensong for love of the Immaculate Heart of Mary and the Sacred Heart of Jesus Christ, King.
Vouchsafe that I may praise thee, O Sacred Virgin! Give me strength against thine enemies!

 

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The Name Written on Her Heart

We offer, in preparation for tomorrow’s Feast of the Immaculate Heart of Mary, Archbishop Lefebvre’s sermon in her honor.

The Name Written on Her Heart

Sermon by Archbishop Marcel Lefebvre, Feast of the Immaculate Heart of Mary, August 22, 1976

Dear Brethren,

The feast of the Immaculate Heart of Mary, whose solemnity we celebrate today is a com­paratively new feast and an example of what the Church can do and has done in relatively recent times to adapt the spirit and the riches of the Church to the present day. If any feast reminds us of the truths we need, of truths that when meditating we desire to apply to our souls, that of the Immaculate Heart of Mary certainly does.

Immaculate Heart of Mary
“By your pure and Immaculate Conception, O Mary, obtain for me the conversion of Russia, Spain, Portugal, Europe and the whole world.”

This feast clearly has a special link to the apparitions of Our Lady at Fatima, and it was Pius XII who wished that we honor the Immaculate Heart of Mary on the octave day of the Assumption.

Ah, yes, since the 17th century devotion to the Hearts of Jesus and Mary has existed. We just celebrated this week the feast of St. John Eudes, who founded congregations under the patronage of the Hearts of Jesus and Mary. But if our Holy Father Pius XII decided to honor in a special way the Immaculate Heart of Mary, it was because our times had need of the devotion.

In these times of hardship, in these times where Christians are deprived of what they formerly had, we need the manifestation of the charity of Our Lord, which was so clearly seen during other Christian centuries. One saw religious houses everywhere. Throughout Christendom monasteries, convents, and hospitals were thickly sown. So many religious houses peopled our villages, our countryside, and our cities, that we had the impression—I imagine that the people who lived in those times had the impression—to be entirely surrounded by the love of our Lord Jesus Christ. For His love was made manifest, as you might say, on every street corner. There were calvaries; there were images of Our Lady; there were hospitals run by religious; there were refuges for the poor, pilgrims, and those in suffering. Everywhere the charity of Our Lord was manifest.

But in our times, how harsh our world has become! We no longer find this charity of Our Lord in our cities or our countryside. Oh, there are still, of course, souls devoted to Our Lord, but how many compared to the total population? And how much work there remains to do in those countries that do not yet know of Our Lord’s charity, enormous lands like China, Africa, and many others that are still far from this charity!

The Divine Love which Fills the Heart of the Blessed Virgin

And so it seems to me that we need the Blessed Virgin Mary in our times. We need the Blessed Virgin to help us keep the faith, to feel the warmth of Our Lord’s love for us. We no longer see His love with our eyes, and as we see it less and less, we need to feel that Our Lady is near us. And I think that is why Our Lady asked at Fatima that we pray to her Immaculate Heart. We need the divine love which fills the Heart of the Blessed Virgin.

And we also need her Immaculate Heart: immaculate, that is without stain, without sin. God knows that we no longer have around us the example of lives entirely devoted to our Lord Jesus Christ, who carry out the law of Our Lord, His law of love, for the commandments of God are contained in love of God and love of neighbor.

But today, you are witnesses of what goes on in our society, where we murder children, where people commit suicide. Did you know that here in Switzerland, there are more suicides than fatalities due to car accidents? A newspaper recently reported that there were 1800 suicides last year, but only 1600 deaths due to car accidents: 1800 suicides! And mostly of young people. What does that mean? It means that these poor souls no longer felt the love of Our Lord around them; they were disgusted by the life that surrounded them, to the point that they committed suicide. And if what happens in a large number of other countries was made public, we would be horrified.

When one thinks about divorce! So many abandoned children who are torn between father and mother. We live painful lives in a harsh society, where charity is no longer practiced.

Blessed Virgin Mary as Mother

I experienced this personally when I was sent to the African nations, where I worked for 30 years. What struck me the most was the hatred one sensed there. The people were full of hate: one village hated another, one family hated another. The result of this hatred was suicide, poisonings and murders. The love of our Lord Jesus Christ did not reign.

We do not know how fortunate we are to have our Lord Jesus Christ as our Father and the Blessed Virgin Mary as our Mother. From these examples we must draw our love for God and for our models. For if the Blessed Virgin Mary had a most loving heart, her love was all for our Lord Jesus Christ and for all those “attached” to Him, and to lead all souls to our Lord Jesus Christ, to her Son Jesus. She lived for this love.

And because she loved Our Lord she was never able to offend Him; she simply couldn’t. She was conceived immaculate, born immaculate, and she remains immaculate all her life. She is then for us a model of purity of heart, of obedience to the law of our Lord Jesus Christ.

And because she loved Our Lord, she wanted to suffer with Him and share His sufferings. Sharing suffering is a sign of love. She saw her Son Jesus suffer and she wished to suffer with Him. When the heart of Jesus was pierced, so was hers, the heart of Mary! These two pierced hearts lived in unity for the glory of God, for the reign of God, for the reign of our Lord Jesus Christ. They fought for that alone.

And for this reason we too must be ready to suffer for the reign of our Lord Jesus Christ. He no longer reigns in our societies, nor in our families, nor in our own selves. Yet we need His reign. It is the only reason for the existence of our souls, our bodies, of humanity, and this earth and all of God’s creation: that Jesus Christ may reign; that He may give to souls His life, His salvation, His charity, His glory.

. . .

We must therefore be strong and ask the most blessed Virgin Mary on this day that we, like her, may have only one love in our hearts: that of our Lord Jesus Christ; only one name written on our hearts: that of our Lord Jesus Christ.

The above is excerpted. The entire sermon is well worth reading and can be found here.

Ed. Note: As we place Archbishop Lefebvre’s words about Africa in their context, we see that the passage of time has only proved his point; the hatred he witnessed in Africa was the result of the absence of Our Lord Jesus Christ and His Immaculate Mother. To the extent that the good African people embraced the faith, the hatred dissipated and contrariwise, to the extent that the hate-filled sect of Allah and other false religions  prevailed, so did hatred and violence. And now, as we survey the shambles of the dissolution of Christendom, we should be able to see even more clearly, the need for the pure and perfect love of the Immaculate Heart of Mary.

My words here are sometimes taken to be an endorsement of a sort of pacifism. To be quite clear: I am saying that our actions  must first be based on devotion to the Immaculate Heart of Mary, and once we have this solid spiritual footing under us, our Queen and Mother will give us guidance  to lead us to the reign of the Sacred Heart of Jesus Christ, King.  Attempting the material success without adequate spiritual preparation is  hubris and it never succeeds in spiritual matters! Have we learned nothing?

For it was in  Rianjo, August, 1931, that Sister Lúcia was reminded by Our Lord of His insistence on the intervention of the Blessed Virgin Mary. In her words,

“… as I was asking God for the conversion of Russia, Spain and Portugal, it seemed to me that His Divine Majesty said to me: “You console Me a great deal by asking Me for the conversion of those poor nations. Ask it also of My Mother frequently, saying: ‘Sweet Heart of Mary, be the salvation of Russia, Spain, Portugal, Europe and the whole world.’

At other times say: ‘By your pure and Immaculate Conception, O Mary, obtain for me the conversion of Russia, Spain, Portugal, Europe and the entire world.’ “

At that same time, Our Lord assured Sister Lúcia,  “Make it known to My ministers that, given they follow the example of the King of France in delaying the execution of My request, they will follow him into misfortune. It will never be too late to have recourse to Jesus and Mary.”  (Father Alonso in “Fatima Ante la Esfinge”, quoted by Frère Michel de la Sainte Trinité,  “The Whole Truth About Fatima, V. II”.)

As our readers have noted, today is also the day we remember the apparition of Our Lady of Knock, Ireland.

For previous posts on Knock:

Eucharist and Apocalypse Part II
The message of Our Lady of Knock
What John saw and what Lucia saw

And so, we urge as always,

Pray the Rosary with confidence and joy!

  Immaculate Heart of Mary, Queen of our hearts, Mother of the Church, do thou offer to the Eternal Father the Precious Blood of Our Lord Jesus Christ, for the conversion of poor sinners, especially our Pontiff.
  Most Sacred Heart of Jesus, Thy kingdom come! Viva Cristo Rey!
  Immaculate Heart of Mary, pray for us now and at the hour of our death.
  St. Joseph, protect us, protect our families, protect our priests.
  St. Michael the Archangel, defend us in battle.

Please pray for the Consecration of Russia to the Immaculate Heart of Mary!

~ by evensong for love of the Immaculate Heart of Mary and the Sacred Heart of Jesus Christ, King.
Vouchsafe that I may praise thee, O Sacred Virgin! Give me strength against thine enemies!

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I shall have to consecrate some bishops

“The situation is such, the work placed in our hands by the good Lord is such, that faced with this darkness in Rome, faced with the Roman authorities’ pertinacity in error, faced with this refusal to return to Truth or Tradition on the part of those who occupy the seats of authority in Rome, faced with all these things, it seems to us that the good Lord is asking for the Church to continue. This is why it is likely that before I give account of my life to the good Lord, I shall have to consecrate some bishops.”

(Archbishop Lefebvre, June 29, 1987)

NOTE: This post updated, see below for the update on SSPX Communique from earlier today.

In due time, history will note the truth about Vatican II and when that happens, Archbishop Lefebvre will be honored as the Prelate, who alone of all the men of the Church, provided for the continuance of the true Mass and sacraments, who alone preserved the sacred priesthood. The following sermon, given 29 years ago today, gives insight into the mind of this great and imminently holy man who will be honored as long as the Holy Catholic Church remains.

Archbishop Lefebvre’s Sermon at the Priestly ordinations in Ecône, June 29, 1987

In the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Ghost, Amen.

Tradidi quod et accepi – I delivered unto you that which I myself have received – I Cor. 15, 3
Tradidi quod et accepi – I delivered unto you that which I myself have received – I Cor. 15, 3

Dear Brethren, Let us give thanks to God who allows us once more to meet together again in Ecône to take part in the magnificent ceremony of priestly ordinations, ceremony which is the reason for our seminaries’ existence and their crowning glory. Seminaries without ordinations would no longer be seminaries of the Church. nor Catholic seminaries. For this reason, having the joy of imposing hands on the new priests, we give thanks to God for letting our seminaries continue to live and even to expand, since Ecône has had to split in two to enable a larger number of young men desiring the true Catholic priesthood, to find at Ecône and Flavigny the training and graces needed for them to become true and holy priests.

MASS AND THE PRIEST

Dear Ordinands, I shall begin by addressing to you a few words of edification and encouragement. You are going to be ordained within the celebration of the Catholic Mass, not a neo-protestant Mass, and this Catholic Mass has been, is now, and will always be the great programme of the priestly life, the great programme of Christian life. To change this Mass is to change the ideal of the priest and Christian, the Catholic ideal. For above all else, Holy Mass is the Cross of Jesus, the continuation of the Cross of Jesus. The veil of the Temple was rent because Jesus died on the Cross, the Old Testament was giving way to the New – was everything changed? Yes and no. Undoubtedly the whole ritual of the old law and a certain concept of God’s law was changed, but the essence of the Old Testament law was being transformed into a living vision of the law of love.

Continue reading “I shall have to consecrate some bishops”

The 1974 Declaration

On November 21, 1974 Archbishop Lefebvre, scandalized by the opinions expressed by the two Apostolic Visitors, drew up for his seminarians “in a spirit of doubtlessly excessive indignation” this famous Declaration as his stand against Modernism. Ten days before, two Apostolic Visitors from Rome arrived at the St. Pius X Seminary in Econe. During their brief stay, they spoke to the seminarians and professors, maintaining scandalous opinions such as, the ordination of married men will soon be a normal thing, truth changes with the times, and the traditional conception of the Resurrection of Our Lord is open to discussion.

'Tradidi enim vobis, in primis quod et accepi" 1 Cor. 15, 3.
‘Tradidi enim vobis, in primis quod et accepi”
1 Cor. 15, 3.
1974 Declaration of Archbishop Lefebvre

We hold fast, with all our heart and with all our soul, to Catholic Rome, Guardian of the Catholic Faith and of the traditions necessary to preserve this faith, to Eternal Rome, Mistress of wisdom and truth. We refuse, on the other hand, and have always refused to follow the Rome of neo-Modernist and neo-Protestant tendencies which were clearly evident in the Second Vatican Council and, after the Council, in all the reforms which issued from it.

All these reforms, indeed, have contributed and are still contributing to the destruction of the Church, to the ruin of the priesthood, to the abolition of the Sacrifice of the Mass and of the sacraments, to the disappearance of religious life, to a naturalist and Teilhardian teaching in universities, seminaries and catechetics; a teaching derived from Liberalism and Protestantism, many times condemned by the solemn Magisterium of the Church.

No authority, not even the highest in the hierarchy, can force us to abandon or diminish our Catholic faith, so clearly expressed and professed by the Church’s Magisterium for nineteen centuries. “But though we,” says St. Paul, “or an angel from heaven preach a gospel to you besides that which we have preached to you, let him be anathema” (Gal. 1:8).

Is it not this that the Holy Father is repeating to us today? And if we can discern a certain contradiction in his words and deeds, as well as in those of the dicasteries, well we choose what was always taught and we turn a deaf ear to the novelties destroying the Church.

It is impossible to modify profoundly the lex orandi without modifying the lex credendi. To the Novus Ordo Missae correspond a new catechism, a new priesthood, new seminaries, a charismatic Pentecostal Church—all things opposed to orthodoxy and the perennial teaching of the Church.

This Reformation, born of Liberalism and Modernism, is poisoned through and through; it derives from heresy and ends in heresy, even if all its acts are not formally heretical. It is therefore impossible for any conscientious and faithful Catholic to espouse this Reformation or to submit to it in any way whatsoever. The only attitude of faithfulness to the Church and Catholic doctrine, in view of our salvation, is a categorical refusal to accept this Reformation.

That is why, without any spirit of rebellion, bitterness or resentment, we pursue our work of forming priests, with the timeless Magisterium as our guide. We are persuaded that we can render no greater service to the Holy Catholic Church, to the Sovereign Pontiff and to posterity.

That is why we hold fast to all that has been believed and practiced in the faith, morals, liturgy, teaching of the catechism, formation of the priest and institution of the Church, by the Church of all time; to all these things as codified in those books which saw day before the Modernist influence of the Council. This we shall do until such time that the true light of Tradition dissipates the darkness obscuring the sky of Eternal Rome.

By doing this, with the grace of God and the help of the Blessed Virgin Mary, and that of St. Joseph and St. Pius X, we are assured of remaining faithful to the Roman Catholic Church and to all the successors of Peter, and of being the fideles dispensatores mysteriorum Domini Nostri Jesu Christi in Spiritu Sancto. Amen.

November 21, 1974

Econe, Switzerland

 

There has never been a better time to  Pray the Rosary with confidence and joy!

  Immaculate Heart of Mary, Queen of our hearts, Mother of the Church, do thou offer to the Eternal Father the Precious Blood of Our Lord Jesus Christ, for the conversion of poor sinners, especially our Pontiff.
  Most Sacred Heart of Jesus, Thy kingdom come! Viva Cristo Rey!
  Immaculate Heart of Mary, pray for us now and at the hour of our death.
  St. Joseph, protect us, protect our families, protect our priests.
  St. Michael the Archangel, defend us in battle.

Please pray for the Consecration of Russia to the Immaculate Heart of Mary!

~ by evensong for love of the Immaculate Heart of Mary and the Sacred Heart of Jesus Christ, King.
Vouchsafe that I may praise thee, O Sacred Virgin! Give me strength against thine enemies!