Sermon delivered Saturday 17th May, vigil
of Pentecost, 1975
by Archbishop Marcel Lefebvre
the name of the Father, and of the Son,
and of the Holy Ghost. Amen.
dear friends, my dear brethren: It seems
to me that a day such as this could not
be better chosen for the conferral of
ordinations. If all the Sacraments give
the Holy Ghost, it is indeed true and
accurate to say that the Sacrament of
Ordination confers the Holy Ghost in a
very special way upon those who, in the
future, will be called upon to pour Him
forth, to give Him to souls in the Sacraments
which it will be their duty to bestow
on the souls confided to their care. Therefore
we rejoice today to be able to give the
Sacrament of Ordination to the diaconate
to one of our seminarians, as well as
Ordination to the minor orders: to the
two first minor orders, and the second
two minor orders.
we shall take advantage of these few moments
to speak to you of what the Feast of Pentecost
suggests to us. Let us attempt to imagine
to ourselves what the day of the Ascension
may have been like, and the moment when
Our Lord ascended into heaven. The Apostles,
seeing Our Lord ascend towards heaven
and disappear in the clouds, kept their
eyes fixed on heaven. . . and we can easily
understand them. These men who had lived
with Our Lord must certainly have had
this sentiment - I should say, this instinct,
if one may say so, to know and to understand
that they had had in their presence heaven
itself. For what is heaven if not Our
Lord Jesus Christ Himself, the Word of
God? They did indeed, then, have heaven
in their very hands, after a fashion:
they could taste it! And this presence
of Our Lord beside them must have enchanted
them, and given them an unalterable peace
and serenity, an absolute confidence.
now Our Lord escapes from their view and
disappears. And that is why their eyes
remained fixed on the heavens. Angels
came to say to them, "What are you doing
here? Why are you waiting? One day Jesus
will return even as He has ascended."
So the Apostles gathered in the Cenacle
to await the coming of the Holy Ghost.
For that is what Our Lord wished to give
them. Heaven had disappeared from their
eyes and almost from their hearts. Now
it is indeed heaven that Our Lord wished
to give them, and to give them through
the Holy Ghost: for He is nothing other
than that. The Holy Ghost in our hearts,
this is heaven in our hearts... paradise
begun in our souls! If we understood well
who the Holy Ghost is and the grace which
God gives us through the Holy Ghost from
the day of our Baptism, and in all the
Sacraments we receive, and especially
in Holy Communion, we should understand
that it is heaven that we receive.
Apostles were filled with the Spirit of
Jesus at the moment of Pentecost, and
thus heaven took possession of their souls,
and of their hearts, and never again did
they separate themselves from this Holy
Spirit, the Spirit of Jesus. They then
understood all that Jesus had told them.
They understood what heaven was in relation
to earth, what the spirit was in relation
to the flesh, what these ineffable goods,
these eternal goods were next to temporal
things. They understood - until then,
they had not understood.
what was the influence of the Holy Ghost
in their souls? Saint Paul describes it
for us twice - once when he enumerates
the different fruits of the Holy Ghost
in souls. I will not list them all for
you, but he speaks of patience, kindness,
meekness, peace: fruits of the Holy Ghost
in our hearts. And he repeats it when
he speaks of the benefits of charity,
the qualities of charity: Caritas benigna
est, caritas patiens est; caritas omnia
suffert, omnia credit, omnia sperat. Charity
is patient, charity suffers, charity believes,
charity hopes, charity loves. . .charity
remains forever. This is what Saint Paul
enumerates and what he describes of charity
and the fruits of the Holy Ghost. And
that is what the Holy Ghost is; it is
in that that we recognize whether we have
the Holy Ghost in us - if we are humble,
meek, charitable, peace-loving: these
are the fruits that Our Lord gives to
those who receive the Holy Ghost.
Holy Ghost Whom we have within us: what
does He give us? What does He inspire
in us? Let us listen to what the Acts
of the Apostles have to recount. The Acts
of the Apostles say that, as soon as the
Apostles had received the Holy Ghost,
they spoke... they spoke. They had received
tongues of fire which signed them, which
marked them, which manifested the descent
of the Holy Ghost upon them; but these
tongues of fire designated nothing other
than that henceforth they had hearts of
fire - hearts of fire which forced them
to speak. And speak of whom, of what?
Of Our Lord Jesus Christ - for it is the
Spirit of Jesus that they had received.
-I shall send you my spirit. . . MY spirit."
So it is the Spirit of Our Lord, and they
spoke of Our Lord.
the sentence perhaps the most characteristic
of the discourse of Saint Peter when,
filled with the Holy Ghost, he could not
restrain himself from speaking, from preaching
the Gospel, from preaching Our Lord to
those who surrounded him. . . He said:
"Non est in alio aliquo salus."
"Non est nomen sub caelum datum
hominibus per quem omnes salvi fieri debent."
There is no other name by which we must
be saved. There is no name other than
that in which all men must receive salvation.
This is the essential truth, the capital
truth, the truth which summarizes all
the truth of the Church. The Church was
founded only for that: to bring salvation
to souls through Our Lord Jesus Christ,
in Our Lord Jesus Christ.
consequently, it is the duty of the Church,
and it will be your duty, my dear friends,
the duty of each one of you, dear friends,
when you are priests, when you will have
the mission of preaching the Gospel, to
preach the reign of Our Lord Jesus Christ.
It is with that that the Holy Ghost inspired
the Apostles: the reign of Our Lord Jesus
Christ. He is King! He has the right to
reign. . .He has the right! And it is
an historical fact - His presence in history
can no longer be ignored by men; no man
can ignore that Our Lord came to save
him. And those who know that Our Lord
came and, consequently, that God came
among men to save us, must accept His
reign: the reign of Our Lord. Not only
His reign in individuals, in all persons;
not only His reign in each one of us:
but His reign in the family, in the home.
. . but His reign in the State! Ah, here
it is something much more difficult: to
admit that Our Lord ought to reign over
the nations. He is the King of all nations!
He it is who will judge - who will judge
all princes and kings. This is spoken
of already in the Psalms.
consequently we ought to be heroes of
the kingdom of Our Lord Jesus Christ.
That is what we must preach everywhere
- that there will be no happiness here
below without the kingdom of Our Lord
Jesus Christ; that no good will be done
here below without Our Lord Jesus Christ.
We can do nothing without the grace of
Our Lord Jesus Christ. It is He who is
the source of all our meritorious acts.
We can merit nothing whatsoever toward
heaven if we have not in us the grace
and spirit of Our Lord Jesus Christ.
are truths which are evident for Christians,
evident for the Church - but which men
do not want to receive and which many
Catholics no longer want to receive. They
find it inadmissible to say that there
is no salvation outside of the Church,
that there is no salvation outside of
Our Lord Jesus Christ. And quite recently,
I read in the report of the episcopal
synod that one could accept that there
are possibilities of salvation through
every religion. Now this is absolutely
false, contrary to all the doctrine of
the Church. There is NO possibility of
salvation through a false religion, through
an erroneous religion. There is salvific
value only in the grace of Our Lord Jesus
Christ, and consequently in the Catholic
Church. And all those who are saved will
always be saved through the Catholic Church,
even if they are of other religions, even
if they have lived in other religions.
They cannot be saved, they cannot enter
heaven unless through Our Lord Jesus Christ.
There will be nothing in heaven other
than the Mystical Body of Jesus Christ:
that is obvious. How could anyone who
is not a member of the Mystical Body go
to heaven? For Our Lord Jesus Christ IS
heaven! He is God, and God is heaven.
Consequently whoever is not united to
Our Lord will not be in heaven, will not
go to heaven - no one who is not a member
of the Mystical Body of Our Lord.
are truths of which we must remind ourselves.
And I believe that I can say for certain
that if, unfortunately, our seminary and
our work here are persecuted, it is precisely
because we affirm these truths. Because
the world no longer wants to hear these
truths. And because one must conform oneself
to ‘modern man,’ one must listen to ‘modern
man.’ What is this ‘modern man’? Who is
he? What does he represent, if not often
the man who does not believe in Our Lord
Jesus Christ, and who does not want to
believe in Our Lord Jesus Christ. . .who
refuses the reign of Our Lord Jesus Christ.
. .who refuses His grace? Men no longer
want to believe in the supernatural; they
no longer want to believe in the grace
of Our Lord. They now believe only in
man - in man, who now by his science seems
to want to govern the world in the place
for us, we affirm the contrary: the reign
of Our Lord Jesus Christ. We want Him
to reign: and that is why we adore Him,
and seek to adore Him in a manner worthy
of Him, worthy of His presence in the
Holy Eucharist. That is why we love our
ceremonies, why we are attached to this
Liturgy which truly expresses what we
think in our hearts, what we think in
the depths of our souls: that Jesus is
present in the Holy Eucharist and that
we honor Him as God. He is our King: He
has the right to our reverences, He has
the right to our genuflections, He has
the right to our bows; He has the right
to songs worthy of Him, worthy of heaven,
which recall the chant of the angels.
This is what we wish. We wish to honor
Him also in our faith, in the doctrine
we teach to the young men who come here
to receive it: to receive the true faith,
the doctrine which teaches us that God
is everything and that man is nothing,
that Our Lord Jesus Christ is the only
means of salvation, and that He is the
only means of salvation that we must preach
to all those who wish to be saved.
is what we affirm; this is what we believe.
But that goes against the current of present-day
ecumenism, which wants precisely to level
this religion, to bring our Catholic religion
down to the level of the Protestant religion
and of other religions. That we shall
never accept. . . never! There is no God
other than Our Lord Jesus Christ. We know
neither Luther nor Buddha nor those other
heads of religions who are and were merely
inspired by the devil to turn men away
from the truth and from Our Lord Jesus
want to consider Our Lord as our King.
We want Him to reign in our homes, in
our families, in our states. We shall
never accept that, in our states, all
religions be placed on the same level.
Without doubt this is impossible to wish
for at once; but we must retain the principle.
Otherwise there are no more public rights
for the Church: those public rights which
give the Church powers in civil societies.
The Church is a society which has powers
in the civil society, which ought to be
recognized by the civil society.
in our time, through the malice of men,
these powers are no longer recognized,
or very little. And alas, even in the
countries where they are still recognized,
these countries are persecuted by those
who ought rather to defend them! Who armed
the hand that killed Schussnig? Who armed
the hand that killed Garcia Moreno? Who
harasses Franco and who harassed Salazar
when they were Christian men of state
who wanted Our Lord to reign in their
countries? They are the ones who are persecuted!
They are the ones who are investigated!
They are the ones who suffer assassination
attempts! Because they want Our Lord to
reign in their countries. Why was Joan
of Arc burned? Because she wanted to establish
the reign of Our Lord in our country,
in the nation of France.
is what we must think; this is what we
must believe. And this persecution which
we are undergoing today is nothing
other than that; it must not be
placed on any other plane. It is not on
details that we are attacked. We are attacked
because we want the reign of Our Lord
Jesus Christ, the social reign of Our
Lord Jesus Christ; because we affirm as
much, because we do all that this reign
might be established - that the reign
of God, the reign of Our Lord might be
established, the reign as well of the
Blessed Virgin Mary. That is why we are
persecuted; we know it well.
particularly by those in the Church who
collaborate with the enemy. Unfortunately
among those who collaborate with the enemy
there are some who have important posts
in the Church and who, through their important
posts, strive to compel us as well into
this pact with the enemy; who try to draw
us into compromises that are absolutely
inadmissible and that are contrary to
the royalty of Our Lord Jesus Christ,
contrary to the honor of God, contrary
to the honor of Our Lord and of the Blessed
Virgin Mary. And that we do not want...
none of these intercommunions, for example,
of ‘eucharistic hospitalities’ as they
are now called. These are all blasphemies
and sacrileges which we cannot accept.
ut Deus?" This is what we must say.
"Quis ut Jesus Christus?" Who is like
Our Lord Jesus Christ? This is what we
must believe. This was the cry of Joan
of Arc, the cry of Saint Michael the Archangel
that she repeated, and it is this that
we ought to repeat, that we ought to keep
ever in our hearts.
the persecutions that we may undergo,
we must remain united to Our Lord, united
to the Blessed Virgin Mary; united to
Our Holy Father the Pope, united to all
the bishops of the Church. But perhaps
sometimes, in being united to them,
at the same time united against them
in a certain manner, if they say things
which are inadmissible. If on the one
hand they say acceptable things and on
the other hand they say inadmissible things,
we shall be with them when they say admissible
things, but we shall be against them
when they say things which are inadmissible.
For they are destroying themselves, and
they are destroying the Church. And we
want on the contrary to build up the Church,
to construct it on the unchanging foundations,
not on foundations of our own making;
on foundations such as those of which
I have just spoken to you, those which
are inspired by the Holy Ghost, and have
always been inspired by the Holy Ghost.
Such is our desire. Indeed, our goal is
none other than that.
we ask today of the Holy Ghost, and of
the Blessed Virgin Mary, who was filled
with the Holy Ghost, to keep us ever in
this faith, in this love, in this charity,
in this unity. We are not seeking to add
anything to the unchanging faith. If God
gives us the grace to follow tradition,
the grace to remain in the light of the
Holy Ghost, we shall not take glory in
this, but we shall pray that God grant
that this light shall illumine once again,
as of old, all the nations of Europe and
the entire world.
the name of the Father, and of the Son,
and of the Holy Ghost. Amen.
Marcel Lefebvre on Pentecost Sunday,
Courtesy of the Angelus
Press, Regina Coeli House
2918 Tracy Avenue, Kansas City, MO 64109
XI, No. 7, July 1988