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Question 2
Who is Archbishop Marcel Lefebvre?
A brief history: 1905 - 1991

November 29, 1905

Birth of Marcel Lefebvre into a good Catholic family (five of the eight children would become priests or nuns).

September 21, 1929

Marcel Lefebvre is ordained a priest.

1932 - 1946

Having become a Holy Ghost Father, he becomes a missionary in Gabon, Africa.

Archbishop Lefebvre in his office at the Econe seminary
Archbishop Lefebvre in his office at the Econe seminary

Archbishop Lefebvre as Apostolic Delegate for French-speaking Africa
Archbishop Lefebvre as Apostolic Delegate
for French-speaking Africa

September 18, 1947

He is consecrated a bishop and appointed Apostolic Vicar of Dakar, Senegal.

1948 - 1959

Bishop Lefebvre is Pope Pius XII’s Apostolic Delegate for 18 African countries.

September 14, 1955

He becomes the first Archbishop of Dakar.


His Excellency returns to France to be the Bishop of Tulle.

1962 - 1968

Archbishop Lefebvre is elected and acts as Superior General of the Holy Ghost Fathers.


...until resigning before the changes his congregation would force him to implement, and going into “retirement.”

Archbishop Lefebvre as SSPX Superior General
Archbishop Lefebvre
as SSPX Superior General


The Archbishop founds the Priestly Society of St. Pius X.

1970 - 1982

He acts as its first Superior General.

1970 - 1988

Until, in view of his imminent death, he consecrates successors, Archbishop Lefebvre does all he can to be faithful to the grace of his episcopacy, traveling the world to encourage Catholics to hold fast to the faith and traditions of their fathers, confirming their young and ordaining for them

March 25, 1991

Archbishop Marcel Lefebvre passes before his Eternal Judge.

A testimony of his character

Concerning the Archbishop personally, a journalist asked recently what was my outstanding memory of the man. I gave maybe a surprising answer: his objectivity.

He had, of course, a uniquely attractive personality because he was a saint - gentle, kind, simple, humble, humorous, and so on, without a trace of sentimentality, but that was not the point. Underneath all that lay a great intelligence and faith and firmness of character, but that was still not the point. 

Essentially he was a man empty of self and full of God. To meet him, to talk to him, was to see - through him - the truth, Our Lord Jesus Christ, the Catholic Church.

He was like a window on the interest of God. Not he, but Christ, lived within him, and yet that was Marcel Lefebvre and nobody else. And what a marvelous man he was! (Bishop Richard Williamson, The Angelus, May-June 1991, p. 2.)

Books available
Marcel Lefebvre: The Biography; Bishop Bernard Tissier de Mallerais

Apologia Pro Marcel Lefebvre; Michael Davies

A Bishop Speaks;
Archbishop Lefebvre

Spiritual Journey;
Archbishop Lefebvre

The Horn of the Unicorn;
Dr. David Allen White

other books >

More articles
Archbishop Lefebvre: why the SSPX uses the 1962 missal
Now, there is no danger for the Faith in the liturgy of Pope Pius XII and Pope John XXIII, whereas there is great danger for the Faith in the liturgy of Pope Paul VI, which is unacceptable.... 12-21-2012

Archbishop Lefebvre: only when the Faith is in question
The principle of the Church, it is the principle of St. Thomas Aquinas. It is not my choice; it’s not my favor; it is not my personal desire... I am nothing... I merely follow the doctrine of the Church...  8-24-2012

A Collection of Tributes to a Catholic Bishop
Featuring: Dying on the day when all begin | Thank you, Your Excellency! | A Pictorial Biography | Biographies on Archbishop Lefebvre | Bibliography for Archbishop Lefebvre 

Pastor's Corner: 20th Anniversary of the Death of Archbishop Marcel Lefebvre
Twenty years ago Archbishop Marcel Lefebvre passed away...

Archbishop Lefebvre Documentary Film Update
An interview with Mr. Jean-Jacques du Cray, producer of the forthcoming documentary film on Archbishop Lefebvre.

Reassuring words from Archbishop Lefebvre
In this climate of divisions that are cropping up everywhere and are the work of the devil, we must above all avoid fruitless discussions. God knows that there are fruitless discussions among traditionalists... Personally, you know, it doesn’t matter much to me, but it is unfortunate when it comes from good friends... 6-14-2012

Interpreting the words of Archbishop Lefebvre: A few sensible rules
It is advisable therefore, in dealing with Archbishop Lefebvre’s texts, to specify first of all the nature of the specific text and its exact significance; to put it back into its context; to compare it with other texts, so as to avoid facile charges of inconsistency
... 5-22-2012

Master of the Priesthood: The Spirituality of Marcel Lefebvre
With the eloquent title of Master of the Priesthood, this is the second biographical book that award-winning Italian author Cristina Siccardi has written on Archbishop Lefebvre, just one year after her first one... 10-26-2011

Archbishop Lefebvre's June 1988 Public Statement against ecumenism
Written originally in 1983, it was not made public though until the Episcopal Consecrations in June 1988

Two Years after the Consecrations
A conference given by Archbishop Lefebvre on September 6, 1990 to his priests in Econe, Switzerland that brilliantly summarizes the reasons for the Society's position and the status of Catholic Tradition in light of the 1988 Consecrations

One Year after the Consecrations
An interview made by Fideliter with Archbishop Marcel Lefebvre about the state of the SSPX, the Church and Catholic Tradition one year after the 1988 Consecrations

1985 letter to Pope John Paul II from Archbishop Lefebvre and Bishop de Castro Mayer
Composed and signed by both bishops on August 31, 1985, this letter summarized the condition of the Church, how false ecumenism is contrary to Church teaching, and how it is causing a crisis in the Church

The Church, the priesthood and the Tridentine Indult
A conference given by Archbishop Lefebvre in Stuttgart, Germany in 1984, which despite the motu proprio is still pertinent today

Christendom #5 Archbishop Lefebvre and the "Hot Summer of 1976" [DICI]

Superior General's Letter #68 (September 2005)
The Centenary of the Birth of Archbishop Lefebvre

Reply of Archbishop Lefebvre to Cardinal Ottaviani after the Council
Written in December 1966, nearly a year after the conclusion of Vatican II, Archbishop Lefebvre details the confusion that was already occurring so early in the missionary Africa amongst the Holy Ghost Fathers

Archbishop Lefebvre preparing the Council (1959-1962)
A brief story by Bishop Tissier de Mallerais on Archbishop Lefebvre's participation in Vatican II

April 2001 District Superior's Letter
10th Anniversary of the Passing of Archbishop Lefebvre

Can obedience oblige us to disobey?
A statement made in March 1988 by Archbishop Lefebvre regarding obedience to the pope

1988 Episcopal Consecrations sermon of Archbishop Lefebvre

Excerpts of a 1986 interview with Archbishop Lefebvre
Given in April 1986 in Atlanta, GA, this interview covers a variety of topics on the crisis in the Church, concluding with practical advice for the faithful

1983 Open Letter (Episcopal Manifesto) to Pope John Paul II
A joint letter written by Archbishop Lefebvre and Bishop de Castro Mayer against liberal errors

Long Island Conference
Given in 1983 in Long Island, NY, the Archbishop outlines why he maintained relations with Rome, and the betrayal of the Church by various churchmen.

The role of the Priestly SSPX in the heart of the Church
Given in Buenos Aires, Argentina in 1981 by Archbishop Lefebvre, this conference covers the SSPX's place in the Church to form priests and also in combating Modernism. He also speaks about the efforts of both the traditionalists and liberals during the Second Vatican Council

1979 Priestly Jubilee sermon of Archbishop Lefebvre

1974 Declaration of Archbishop Lefebvre

Sermon for the Feast of the Immaculate Conception given by Archbishop Lefebvre in 1972 at Econe, Switzerland
As the whole liturgy of today shows us, God, in His wisdom, had long ago prepared for us the most Blessed Virgin Mary...
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