The Feast of the Purification has a special significance in the Society of Saint Pius X. It was this day that Archbishop Lefebvre chose for the the seminarians of the spirituality year to don the clerical cassock for the first time, as well as for the seminarians of the first philosophy year to receive the clerical tonsure.
Accordingly, on February 2, 2022, these annual ceremonies took place at St. Thomas Aquinas Seminary in Dillwyn Virginia. His Excellency Bishop Bernard Fellay blessed the cassocks of 23 seminarians, 20 Americans, joined by a Nigerian, a Singaporean, and a Chinese. Though this ceremony confers neither canonical status nor powers upon the seminarian, it is a visually striking indication of the new life each of these young man is pursuing. With the episcopal blessing conferred upon their clerical habit, they departed from the chapel dressed as laymen and return after some minutes, newly-minted blackrobes.
Following this ceremony, His Excellency wielded the scissors upon the heads of eight seminarians, six Americans, an Irishman, and an Australian, conferring upon them the duties and privileges of the clerical state. Five cuts of the hair mark a cross on the candidate's head, bringing with them new responsibilities and a new standing in the eyes of the Church. Although there is still a long road to the priesthood lying before these young Levites, they are no longer laymen.
As we celebrate this progress of more men toward the priesthood, we also bear in mind the obstacles the world, the flesh, and the devil throw at every aspiring follower of Jesus Christ, and we beg your prayers for the perseverance and sanctification of these and all the seminarians of the Society of Saint Pius X.