Tributes for a Catholic bishop

March 24, 2014
Source: District of the USA

Archbishop Lefebvre went to his eternal reward on March 25, 1991, the Feast of the Annunciation, after having valiantly promoted and defended the Catholic Faith throughout the world.

We offer some tributes previously published on in commemoration of the death of Archbishop Marcel Lefebvre (March 25, 1991), a bishop for the Catholic Church.

Dying on the day when all begin

Twenty years ago, on Monday of Holy Week, March 25, 1991, the Feast of the Annunciation, the founder of the Society of St. Pius X was recalled to God. On Thursday, March 28, 1991, the Gazette of Martigny (Switzerland) published this article, authored by Mr. Rene Berthod, now a father of a priest of the Society, in tribute to Archbishop Lefebvre.

There are 365 days to die. None, however, is similar to the other and for the Christian, every day is a particular feast day: it is celebrated for an event in the life of the Church or for one of her children sanctified here below by grace.

Even if nothing is left to chance, nevertheless, we need coincidences to be obvious for us to see them.

Archbishop Marcel Lefebvre, founder of the Priestly Society of St. Pius X, died on the morning of March 25. This year’s first day of Holy Week is also one of the great feasts of the liturgical year, the Annunciation, the day when, by the fiat of Mary the Incarnation comes about. On this very day, the divine work of the redemption begins on earth.

It pleases me to know that the Archbishop at Econe, a sign of contradiction if ever there was in the Church of this time—attacked, rejected, condemned and excommunicated—who by the strength of his rhetoric and the rigor of his conduct rendered these attacks as vain—as ridiculous the condemnations—has met his judge on March 25. [...]

Historically, it will be necessary one day to explain how it was possible for the noblest, the bravest, the most faithful, the most Catholic of the prelates of the Latin Church to die under excommunication.

But one day we will also explain that Archbishop Lefebvre was excommunicated from a Church of Assisi which was no longer the immaculate Bride of the Divine Word.

Thank you, Your Excellency!

An editorial of Fr. Benoit de Jorna, then District Superior of France, published in Fideliter (September-October 1995) on the occasion of 25th anniversary of the Society of St. Pius X.

In these days when we celebrate the 25 years of the Priestly Society of St. Pius X, my thought turns to the great figure of Archbishop Marcel Lefebvre. These 25 years of life, after God, are certainly owned to him. On your behalf, I would like to express our gratitude.

Thank you, Your Excellency, for having been the core of resistance to the destructive innovations during the Second Vatican Council.

Thank you, Your Excellency, for having early supported by your authority Catholics who fought against progressivism, especially those of the Cite Catholique,1 a breeding ground for the future traditional resistance.

Thank you, Your Excellency, for resigning your office as Superior General of the Holy Ghost Father, so as not to condone in front of the Church the abandoning of the essence of religious life.

Thank you, Your Excellency, for having, during the crisis of vocations, welcomed young people willing to give themselves to God, and putting aside your tranquil respite to guide and support them.

Thank you, Your Excellency, for having, in 1969, left your peaceful retirement and founded at age 65, a priestly society in the midst of the doctrinal, moral and liturgical debacle.

Thank you, Your Excellency, for having clearly seen, at the publication of the New Mass, the immense devastation that this Mass would cause and having refused to condone it in any way.

Thank you, Your Excellency, for having founded Econe, the seminary of the traditional priesthood, of the traditional Mass, of the traditional doctrine, the seminary of the hope for a renewal of the Church.

Thank you, Your Excellency, for having traveled the world for years, preaching, giving confirmation, opening seminaries, priories and schools and supporting the priestly, religious and Christian life.

Thank you, Your Excellency, for your statement of November 21, 1974, which will remain a monument in the Church history.

Thank you, Your Excellency, for having borne, for the Reign of Jesus, to be contradicted, defamed, attacked, betrayed, and finally condemned during the years 1974, 1975 and 1976.

Thank you, Your Excellency, for attempting everything possible to bring Conciliar Rome to the Catholic Truth, and further thanks to you for your clear-sightedness that has rescued us from its clutches before it was too late.

Thank you, Your Excellency, for having not wanted, at the end of your journey, to leave as orphans the priests and faithful and for having the courage to give us Catholic Bishops, despite the dangers.

Thank you, Your Excellency, for these 25 years and thank you for the years to come, which will exist because of your vision, of your courage and especially of your immense love of Jesus Christ.

  • 1. A traditional Catholic organization found in 1946 by Jean Ousset, author of the book, Action: A Manual for the Reconstruction of Christendom.