27 June 1980
In the Name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost.
it not a profound joy for us all to be assembled here again, for
the annual ordinations to the priesthood?
of you faithful pilgrims come each year to share our prayers,
our joys, and our pains, but each time also numerous pilgrims
come for the first time, and this year we have the special joy
of receiving a group from the New World,1
who are attending this ceremony for the first time here at Ecône.
I am sure they will return home full of consolation and great
joy, full of assurance and conviction that they have seen the
living Church, the Church Militant, the immemorial Church. They
will go back and take with them what they have seen and heard
and will therefore rejoice the hearts of the faithful who have
not come, but who are with us in prayer, in thought, and in spirit.
dear brethren, on the occasion of this ordination to the priesthood,
we cannot help thinking that it was ten years ago that the Society
of St. Pius X was founded – ten years. The approval of Bishop
Charriére for our Society was given to us on 1 November
1970, and here we are in 1980. In glancing back over these ten
years, we can only sing a hymn of thanksgiving. Not to sing a
hymn of thanksgiving today in our hearts, would be to ignore the
favors of God, to fail in recognition and gratitude toward God
Himself, to Our Lord, to the Blessed Virgin Mary, to our patron
saints and especially to St. Pius X.
thanksgiving for all the favors, for all the blessings we have
received – we, in particular, members of the Society of
St. Pius X, and also, I would add, those who, for one reason or
another, have thought it best to leave us; they have themselves
paid tribute to the Society, they themselves have written to us:
"We will remember all our lives the favors and graces we
received in the seminary at Ecône."
cannot help thinking that today we should thank God and we, in
particular, dear friends, members of the Society of St. Pius X;
priests, those who are about to be ordained priests and subdeacons
today, and all seminarians here present, not to mention all those
who would like to be with us – from America, from Buenos
Aires – priests of the Society who could not be present,
but who had to remain in their priories or in their districts;
they are certainly united with us today in thought and in prayer.
So we thank God for the graces we have received under the protection
of our holy Pope, St. Pius X, and the Blessed Ever Virgin Mary,
our Mother in Heaven.
graces, my dear friends, above all the grace to have kept the
treasures and the gifts which Our Lord Jesus Christ Himself gave
to His Church, because that is the Society of St. Pius X; it is
nothing else – to keep us, to receive us, to do us good
and to sanctify us by the gifts which Our Lord Jesus Christ put
into the hands of His Apostles, which His Apostles bequeathed
to Holy Church, and which the Church has always given to us.
today, when we consider the general condition of the churches,
i.e., the parishes, the seminaries, the religious orders, then
these gifts take on a value infinitely greater, because we could
have been in that utterly baffling situation, thrown into total
confusion. We could have found ourselves in that situation. Why
has God chosen us? Why has God given us the grace to keep the
Church going, and to preserve all these treasure of the Church?
The treasure of faith, the treasure of grace, the treasure of
the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass, the treasure of the sacraments
– treasures incomparable.
is what we have received, my dear friends, and that is why we
must thank God today; and I think I can include all who are joined
to the Society of St. Pius X, in one way or another. I am thinking
of our Sisters, from St. Michel-en-Brenne; I am thinking also
of all our oblates, religious and lay; I am thinking also of all
those who live with us, in our houses, everywhere and who are
deeply united to the Society, and who therefore share in the graces
of the Society. And I must not forget all those who in one way
or another have kept their fidelity to the Church and who are
united with us. Is it not because we are united in this unity
of the Faith in the Church, and in the sacraments of the Church
and in the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass?
think of those monasteries where today some will receive priestly
ordination – the monastery of Dom Augustine, the monastery
of Dom Gerard, both here present. I think of all those monasteries
and convents of nuns who have also tried to keep the Faith, to
keep Tradition and therefore are united to the priests who have
remained faithful and who look, in a sense, to us, asking us to
support them by our prayers and our encouragement: Dominicans
at Brignoles, Fanjeaux, Poncallec; Carmelites, here present; also
nuns from Mainz, nuns from Schellenberg who are united with us
in prayer. They could not come because they are cloistered. All
these nuns, and I could not forget how many nuns are united with
us in thought and in their conviction that they must keep the
then, all the graces received, all the vocations realized –
priestly vocations, religious brothers and sisters, active and
contemplative vocations: this is the Church, the Church which
goes on. I think of all those priests who are here present, all
who have shown us by example of faithfulness, who have encouraged
us, and who themselves, I think, find encouragement in the example
of the Society – all this is the Church, continuing Church.
if we should thank God for the graces which have been given to
the Society, I think we should also thank God for the graces given
by the Society. I cannot help thinking of all the houses, scattered
across the world, forty or more houses of our priests, and besides
these, many places of worship which have been opened and which
are served by our Fathers every Sunday.
of course, I do not forget all that is done by those dear priests
who, like us, defend the Faith and who dedicate themselves with
their whole heart and soul to celebrating the holy and immemorial
Mass, administering the immemorial sacraments to their faithful
people and thus preserving the Catholic Faith. Oh, I cannot forget
them, but I think above all of what has been accomplished by the
grace of God by the Society of St. Pius X, the tenth anniversary
of which we are celebrating; and so we can scarcely contemplate
the graces which have been poured out upon us.
I think of all the dying who have had a real priest, a priest
who came to help them die a holy death, who came to bring them
the consolation of the Sacraments of Extreme Unction, Communion,
Viaticum, these souls have been strengthened and prepared to receive
the grace of final perseverance. And all the children, all the
schools that we have, by the grace of God, been able to open or
to develop, so many children preserved from the contamination
of the world, and who have kept the Faith. And all those families
who gather in the thousands upon thousands around our churches,
often makeshift little churches like catacombs, where the sanctuary
lamp shines – small, but always well kept, decorated with
flowers, well arranged little churches worthy of the Holy Mysteries
which are celebrated, where everything is beautiful, even in poverty,
by the care of the priest who faithfully preserves the ceremonies
of the Church and who sees to it that his chapel is beautiful
for Our Lord Jesus Christ, beautiful for the holy angels who dwell
there, beautiful for the Blessed Virgin Mary. The faithful who
come into these churches, are consoled, strengthened, and feel
the grace of God, the grace of the Holy Ghost; and they go home
refreshed, reassured that they have received into themselves the
life of Our Lord Jesus Christ, by the Holy Communion, the Eucharist,
and thus the Church goes on.
my dear brethren, is what the Society is: schools, priories, parishes,
chapels, scattered over the world. And tomorrow, again with the
grace of God, since all this is happening almost miraculously,
tomorrow the opening of a university in Paris. To tell the truth,
I am astonished myself. I can’t get over it. Of course we
were dreaming, hoping some day to open and begin a university.
And today in Paris, tomorrow in Rome, the day after tomorrow,
perhaps in the United States, we would like to give the Truth,
to communicate the Truth to those who no longer have it, who have
lost it, who have been led astray by false modern philosophies.
will happen to this world tomorrow if there is no longer any ability
to recognize the Truth? To recognize the truth about philosophy,
the truth about theology, the truth about Sacred Scripture, and
thus to recognize Our Lord Jesus Christ, Who is the Way, the Truth
and the Life. What a joy then for us to think that these young
men and women who will come to receive this university education,
will be pillars of the Truth, luminaries of the Truth –
everywhere they will be, and probably in important positions,
which will make them a beacon for the spread of Truth.
we thank God again that He Himself has sent us the professors
we needed. These professors themselves came to us in Paris and
told us: "It is this year or never for us; either you take
us this year or we get other jobs and you can no longer count
on us." What was I to do? Good professors, committed, who
said: "From now on, after all that we have been through,
we wish to be under the Society of St. Pius X; we wish to teach
under the authority of the Society of St. Pius X; we wish one
of your priests there, to direct and counsel us, because we feel
that there, at least, the Church will be, and the Truth."
So what was I do do? Faced with this proposition, in spite of
the difficulties which that could mean, we decided to open this
university; that is what God wanted, a unique, extraordinary occasion,
which God has given us, something like a tenth anniversary gift.
Let us thank Him.
my dear brethren, is what God has done by means of the Society
of St, Pius X. And tomorrow, what will we be? Well, we will always
be the same, we do not have to search out our path; we can only
remain the Church; we can only keep the Church going; we can only
keep preaching Our Lord Jesus Christ, preaching the Truth, teaching
the Truth, and tomorrow – well, if God wishes (and I think
He does wish it, and will wish it), He will integrate us into
the official Church, just as we are, just as we are.
is not a question of changing, of going either to the right or
to the left; we wish to remain the Church and we wish to remain
what we have always been since the beginning of the Society, because
we have no other motive than to keep the Church going; and thus
we have always thought that one day, when God wills it, when He
decides, then we will go back into the official Church, since
they have put us out of an official Church which is not the real
Church, [but] an official Church which has been infested with
Modernism; and so we believed in the duty of disobedience, if
indeed it was disobedience! To obey, but to obey the immemorial
Church, to obey all the popes, to obey the whole Catholic Church.
So we thought it our duty to disobey those cardinals who asked
us to adopt, in part, Modernist errors, because we did not want
to poison our souls and our hearts with the errors which have
been condemned by our holy patron, St. Pius X, and we remain faithful
to the Anti-Modernist Oath – the oath which St. Pius X requires
us to take. We remain faithful to that. They will receive us with
the oath in our hands, or we will remain what we are. And we are
convinced, we pray for this, and perhaps, my dear brethren, things
will soon work out. This goal which seems impossible – to
be taken as we are, with what we are doing, with what we are accomplishing,
with our Faith – this seems almost impossible. But God can
do the impossible, and we are more hopeful than ever, we are perhaps
closer than ever, to being recognized officially in holy Church,
as the Society of St. Pius X, with all that we are, all that we
think, all that we believe, all that we do.
so, by the same token, all those who, like us, have defended the
same Faith, the same Holy Sacrifice of the Mass, the same Sacraments,
will come with us, will be accepted by us. There is no doubt about
it. So we must pray today, in a very special way, for this intention,
because you can imagine what we would be, how many we would be
here, if we were not persecuted by certain members of the Church.
Not five or six thousand, but twenty, fifty thousand, would profit
by the graces that God gives us, that the Church gives to us,
whereas now they are dying without Christ, perishing, losing the
Faith, abandoned. We must think of all these souls and hope these
unjust persecutions against us may cease.
close, my dear friends, with a few words to you who are about
to be ordained priests, and to you I say, "Keep your faith
in Our Lord Jesus Christ.” Everything depends on Our Lord
Jesus Christ. Nothing exists without Our Lord Jesus Christ, nothing
in the material world, nothing in the supernatural world. Without
Jesus there is nothing. Jesus is the Creator of all things, Jesus
is the Redeemer of all souls. Without Him, there is no hope. Without
Him, there is no being, no possible existence. So what is Our
Lord Jesus Christ? What are the essentials that you have studied
in your theology? Jesus Christ is Savior; Jesus Christ is Priest;
Jesus Christ is King. These are the three essential attributes
of Our Lord Jesus Christ by the very fact of His hypostatic union,
i.e., His union with God Himself in One Person.
these three attributes: Savior-Redeemer, Priest and King, where
are they made concrete? Where do we live them? Where do we grasp
them? In Holy Mass. In Holy Mass Our Lord Jesus Christ is Redeemer.
Who can deny that? The Sacrifice of the Cross is His Redemption,
the Redemption of Our Lord. Thus in offering your Holy Sacrifice
of the Mass you contribute to the Redemption of Our Lord Jesus
Christ, the Redemption which Our Lord Jesus Christ has accomplished.
But where is He more priest than in the Holy Sacrifice of the
Mass? He is the Priest, you are only His ministers, you act only
in the person of Christ, Who is the true Priest; thus your Sacrifice
of the Mass is still Our Lord Jesus Christ in one of His essential
finally, King. "God reigned from the Cross." Our Lord
reigned from the wood of the Cross; that is His throne, that is
His crown. There He has conquered the world, and there He has
a right to His kingship. So it is also in the Holy Sacrifice of
the Mass that His Kingship shines forth irresistibly; we must
all submit to Him and revere, adore and thank Him as King.
so – Redeemer, Priest and King – this is the Holy
Sacrifice of the Mass; all the days of your lives you will discover
Our Lord in His essential attributes, and you will share in them.
creatures that we are! To share in the essential attributes of
Our Lord Jesus Christ, to share in His Redemption, to share in
His Priesthood, to share in His Kingship – what responsibility!
What a responsibility to all His faithful people! What a profound
joy for you! With what humility and what joy you should perform
these sacred mysteries. You should also bring your people to share
in these attributes of Our Lord, by Holy Communion, by giving
Jesus Christ Himself in the Eucharist. What a joy! Nothing is
more beautiful than the priest distributing Holy Communion, nothing
is greater, more sublime, nothing richer in virtues, in gifts,
in graces. The faithful expect this of you.
be faithful, my dear friends, be faithful to all you have been
taught here at Ecône. It is only the echo of what the Church
has always taught. Remain close to your seminary, remain close
to what has made you a priest, remain close to the Society of
St. Pius X; in this way you will go on, while waiting for your
reward from the hands of your Mother in heaven, the Mother of
the Priesthood, who has been by your side, here at Ecône,
how touched we are, every evening, when we see you kneeling before
the Blessed Virgin Mary before taking your rest; you say some
prayers to the Blessed Virgin Mary, commending yourselves to her,
asking her to sustain you, asking her to help you to become holy
priests. And now, here you are ready to be sent out, ready to
go, as Our Lord said, “Go forth, preach the Gospel!”
that is what you will do, and all our prayers today will go with
you, the prayers of your parents, your friends, and all those
who love you and who are united with you here below and in heaven.
the Name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost.
The Angelus pilgrimage