Just 25 years ago, these words of Archbishop Lefebvre resonated throughout the Alpine surroundings at the seminary of Econe. This testament of the Standard Bearer of Tradition continues to echo in our own day, as the Society of St. Pius X continues in carrying out the apostolic work he founded.
Archbishop Lefebvre's sermon for the Episcopal Consecrations (June 30, 1988)—some extracts
Far be it from me to raise myself up as pope. I am but a bishop of the Catholic Church, continuing to transmit, to transmit her doctrine. Tradidi quod et accepi. I think that is what I would like to have written on my tomb, and probably it won’t be much longer: Tradidi quod et accepi—as St. Paul says—“I have passed on to you what I have received”, as simple as that. I am the mailman bringing a letter. I did not write this letter, this message, this word of God: it is God Himself who wrote it, Our Lord Jesus Christ Himself, and we have passed it on to you, through the intermediary of these dear priests present today, and through all those who have thought it their duty to resist this wave of apostasy in the Church, keeping the Faith of all times and transmitting it to the faithful. (…)
Many seminarians have entrusted themselves to us; they have felt here the continuity of the Church, the continuity of Tradition and so they have come to our seminaries, despite the difficulties with which they met, in order to receive a true priestly ordination and to be able to offer the true sacrifice of Calvary, the true sacrifice of the Mass, and bring you the true sacraments, the true doctrine, the true catechism. That is the goal of these seminaries. So I cannot in good conscience leave them orphans, nor can I leave you orphans by disappearing without preparing anything for the future. It is not possible. It would go against my duty. (…)
Just as we took no account of the suspension and we ended up being congratulated by the Church, even the progressivist Church, in the same way, in a few years—I don’t know: the Good God alone knows how many years it will take for Tradition to be restored her rights in Rome—we shall be embraced by the Roman authorities, who will thank us for having maintained the Faith in our seminaries, in our families, in our cities, our countries, our convents, and our religious houses, for the greater glory of God and for the salvation of souls.