Join our e-mail list


20 years after the death of Archbishop Marcel Lefebvre


A Collection of Tributes to a Catholic Bishop


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 twenty-five years of the Priestly Society of St. Pius X, my thought turns to the great figure of Archbishop Marcel Lefebvre. These twenty-five 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 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 twenty-five 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.


Archbishop Lefebvre's Episcopal Coat of Arms Biographies on
Archbishop Marcel Lefebvre
Archbishop Marcel Lefebvre: A Bishop for the Church []

Our Founder: A Biography of Archbishop Marcel Lefebvre by Fr. Ramon Angles []


Marcel Lefebvre: The Biography Bibliography for Archbishop Lefebvre
A Pictorial Biography

The Lefebvre family in 1914
Marcel Lefebve as a Eucharistic Crusader
Marcel Lefebvre
as a Eucharistic
Santa Chiara: French Seminary at Rome
Marcel was called "the angel of the seminary" at Santa Chiara, the French Seminary at Rome, for his peaceful demeanor. Seen here in 1928, he is front row,
second from right
Fr. Marcel Lefebvre's first assignment at Marais-de-Lomme
Fr. Lefebvre's (on right) first assignment as assistant pastor at Marais-de-Lomme, France, from 1931-1932
Fr. Lefebvre on the way to Gabon
Fr. Lefebvre, a Holy
Ghost Father missionary
priest on his way
to Gabon, Africa
Newly-appointed seminary rector in 1934
Newly-appointed seminary rector
in 1934 at Libreville, Gabon
(front row on left)
The seminary in Libreville in 1936
The seminary in Libreville in 1936
1945-1947: Superior of the scholasticate for philosophy at Mortain (Normandy)
Called back to France in 1945 to
serve as superior at the Holy Ghost Fathers' scholasticate of philosophy at Mortain (Normandy); a post he
held until 1947
September 18, 1947: Episcopal consecration in the Church of Our Lady of the Angels in Tourcoing
September 18, 1947: consecrated
a bishop at Tourcoing, France,
in preparation as
Pope Pius XII's
Apostolic Vicar at Dakar, Africa

In 1948, appointed
Apostolic Delegate to
French-speaking Africa:
"The most effective
and the best qualified
of my apostolic delegate
said the pope
French-speaking Africa: a huge territory!
French-speaking Africa:
a huge territory!
First Archbishop of Dakar
In 1956, Bishop Lefebvre
is promoted as first
Archbishop of Dakar;
Cardinal Tisserant (right)
came from Rome
for the installation
Archbishop Lefebvre with Pope John XXIII
In 1962, transferred from Dakar to Tulle, France with the title of Archbishop-Bishop.
Pope John XXIII appoints him Assistant to the Papal Throne and Permanent Member of the Preparatory Commission
of the Second Vatican Council
Superior General of Holy Ghost Fathers
Elected Superior General of the
Holy Ghost Fathers in 1962.
Center front during a meeting with the bishops of that congregation
Coetus Internationalis Patrum
Led the charge of Tradition
against the Modernists
during the Council, forming the
Coetus Internationalis Patrum

Founded the SSPX in 1970 to form holy priests; the famous Mass at Lille France during the "hot summer" of 1976 when he came under fire from liberal bishops


Hot Summer of 1976

Archbishop Lefebvfe in USA; 1981
Archbishop Lefebvre established
the SSPX's first-ever chapel in the USA in 1971. Here he processes
through St. Vincent de Paul Church in 1981 to administer confirmations
Open letter to Pope John Paul II in 1983
Signing an open letter to Pope John Paul II against false ecumenism with
Bishop de Castro Mayer in 1983
Operation Survival: 1988 Episcopal Consecrations
Operation Survival: the 1988 Episcopal Consecrations
which ensured the continuance
of Catholic Tradition
Archbishop Lefebvre lying in state at Econe
Archbishop Lefebvre passed away
on March 25, 1991. Here he lies in state in a seminary chapel at Econe
Tradidi quod et accepi
The Archbishop's tomb memorial
testifies that he fulfilled his duty
as a Catholic bishop: Tradidi
quod et accepi
(I have passed
on what I received)

Archbishop Lefebvre Documentary Film: read about it>

Archbishop Lefebvre
Documentary Film

Read about it!

Donate to it!

  © 2013                    home                    contact