Allow me before beginning the few words which I would like to address
to you on the occasion of this beautiful ceremony, to thank all
those who have contributed to its magnificent success,
Personally, I had thought of celebrating
my sacerdotal jubilee in a private, discreet manner at the altar
which is the heart of Ecône, but the beloved clergy of St.
Nicholas du Chardonnet and the beloved priests who surround me,
invited me with such insistence to permit all those who desired
to unite themselves in my thanksgiving and my prayer on the occasion
of this sacerdotal jubilee, that I could not refuse and that is
why we are gathered here today—so great in numbers, so diverse in
origin—having come from America, from all European countries which
are yet free. Here we are united for the occasion of this sacerdotal
How then could I define this gathering, this
manifestation, this ceremony? homage, a homage to your faith in
the Catholic priesthood, and in the holy Catholic Mass. I truly
believe that it is for this reason that you have come, in order
to manifest your attachment to the Catholic Church and to the most
beautiful treasure, to the most sublime gift which God has given
to man: the priesthood, and the priesthood for sacrifice, for the
Sacrifice of Our Lord continued upon our altars.
This is why you have come; this is why we are
surrounded today by these beloved priests who have come from everywhere
and many more would have come were it not a Sunday, for they are
held, by their obligations to celebrate Holy Mass in their parishes,
and they have told us so.
I would like to trace, if you will permit me,
some scenes to which I have been a witness during the course of
this half century, in order to show more clearly the importance
which the Mass of the Catholic Church holds in our life, in the
life of a priest, in the life of a bishop, and in the life of the
As a young seminarian at Santa Chiara, the French
Seminary in Rome, they used to teach us attachment to liturgical
ceremonies. I had, during that time, the privilege of being a ceremoniaire,
that which we call a “master of ceremonies,” having been
preceded no less in this office by His Grace Msgr. Lebrune, the
former Bishop of Autun, and by His Grace Msgr. Ancel, who is still
the Auxiliary Bishop of Lyons. I was therefore a master of ceremonies
under the direction of the beloved Fr. Haegy, known for his profound
knowledge of the liturgy. We loved to prepare the altar; we loved
to prepare the ceremonies and we were already imbued with the spirit
of the feast the eve of the day when a great ceremony was to take
place upon our altars. We understood therefore, as young seminarians,
to love the altar.
Domine dilexi decorem domus tuae et gloriam
habitionis tuae. This is the verse which we recite during the
Lavabo at the altar: “Lord I have loved Thy house and the glory
of Thy dwelling.”
This is what they taught us at the French Seminary
in Rome under the direction of the dear and Reverend Fr. LeFloch,
a well loved Father, who taught us to see clearly the events of
the time through his commentaries on the encyclicals of the popes.
I was ordained a priest in the Chapel of the Sacred Heart de la
rue Royale in Lille on September 21, 1929, by the then Archbishop
Liénart. I left shortly afterwards—two years afterwards—for
the missions to join my brother who was already there in Gabon.
There I began to learn what the Mass truly is.
Certainly I knew by the studies which we had
done, what this great mystery of our Faith was, but I had not yet
understood its entire value, efficacy and depth. This I learned
day by day, year by year, in Africa, and particularly in Gabon,
where I spent 13 years of my missionary life, first at the seminary
and then in the bush among the Africans, with the natives.
There I saw—yes, I saw—what the grace of the
Holy Mass could do. I saw it in the holy souls of some of our catechists.
I saw it in those pagan souls transformed by the grace of baptism,
transformed by assistance at Holy Mass, and by the Holy Eucharist.
These souls understood the mystery of the Sacrifice of the Cross
and united themselves to Our Lord Jesus Christ in the sufferings
of His Cross, offering their sacrifices and their sufferings with
Our Lord Jesus Christ, and living as Christians.
I can cite names: Paul Ossima de Ndjolé,
Eugene Ndonc de Lambaréné, Marcel Mable de Donguila,
and I will continue with a name from Senegal, Mr. Forster, Treasurer-Paymaster
in Senegal, chosen for this delicate and important function by his
peers and even by the Moslems due to his honesty and integrity.
These are some of the men produced by the grace of the Mass. They
assisted at the Mass daily, communicating with great fervor and
they have become models and the light of those about them. This
is just to list a few without counting the many Christians transformed
by this grace.
I was able to see these pagan villages become
Christian, being transformed not only, I would say, spiritually
and supernaturally, but also being transformed physically, socially,
economically and politically. Because these people—pagans that they
were—became cognizant of the necessity of fulfilling their duties,
in spite of trials, in spite of the sacrifices of maintaining their
commitments, particularly their commitment in marriage. Then the
village began to be transformed little by little under the influence
of grace, under the influence of the grace of the Holy Sacrifice
of the Mass. Soon all the villages were wanting to have one of the
Fathers visit them. Oh, the visit of a missionary! They waited impatiently
to assist at the Holy Mass in order to be able to confess their
sins and then to receive Holy Communion.
Some of these souls also consecrated themselves
to God: nuns, priests, brothers, giving themselves to God, consecrating
themselves to God. There you have the fruit of the Holy Mass.
Why did all this happen?
It is necessary that we study somewhat the profound
motive of this transformation: sacrifice.
The notion of sacrifice is a profoundly Christian and a profoundly
Catholic notion. Our life cannot be spent without sacrifice, since
Our Lord Jesus Christ, God Himself, willed to take a body like our
own and say to us: “Follow Me, take up thy cross and follow Me
if thou wilt be saved.” And He has given us the example of His
death upon the Cross; He has shed His Blood. Would we then dare—we,
His miserable creatures, sinners that we are—not to follow Our Lord
in pursuit of His Sacrifice, in pursuit of His Cross?
There is the entire mystery of Christian civilization.
There is that which is the root of Christian civilization: the comprehension
of sacrifice in one’s life, in daily life, the understanding of
Christian suffering, no longer considering suffering as an evil,
as an unbearable sorrow, but sharing one’s sufferings and one’s
sickness with the sufferings of Our Lord Jesus Christ, in looking
upon His Cross, in assisting at the Holy Mass, which is the continuation
of the Passion of Our Lord upon Calvary.
Once understood, suffering becomes a joy and
a treasure because these sufferings, if united to those of Our Lord,
if united to those of all the martyrs, of all Catholics, of all
the faithful who suffer in this world, if. united to the Cross of
Our Lord, they, then become an inexpressible treasure, a treasure
unutterable, and achieve an extraordinary capacity for the conversion
of other souls and the salvation of our own. Many holy souls, Christians,
have even desired to suffer in order to unite themselves more closely
to the Cross of Our Lord Jesus Christ. There you have Christian
These are the teachings of the Cross; it is this that Our Lord Jesus
Christ teaches us by His Cross.
are those who suffer for righteousness sake.
Blessed are the poor.
Blessed are the meek.
Blessed are the merciful.
Blessed are the peace-makers.
This Christian civilization, penetrating to the depths of nations
only recently pagan, has transformed them, and impelled them to
desire and thus to choose Catholic heads of state. I myself have
known and aided the leaders of these Catholic countries. Their Catholic
peoples desired to have Catholic leaders so that even their governments
and all the laws of their land might be submissive to the laws of
Our Lord Jesus Christ and to the Ten Commandments.
If, in the past, France—said to be Catholic—had
truly fulfilled the role of a Catholic power, she would have supported
these colonized lands in their new-found Faith. Had she done so,
their lands would not now be menaced by Communism, and Africa would
not be what it is today. The fault does not so much lie with the
Africans themselves as with the colonial powers, which did not understand
how to avail themselves of this Christian faith which had rooted
itself among the African peoples. With a proper understanding they
would have been able to exercise a brotherly influence among these
nations by helping them to keep the Faith and exclude Communism,
If we look back through history, we see immediately
that what I have been speaking of took place in bur own countries
in the first centuries after Constantine. For we too, are, in our
origins, converts. Our ancestors were converted, our kings were
converted, and down through the centuries they offered their nations
to Our Lord Jesus Christ, and they submitted their countries to
the Cross of Jesus. They willed too that Mary should be the Queen
of their lands.
One can read the admirable writings of St. Edward,
King of England, of St. Louis, King of France, of the Holy Roman
Emperor St. Henry, of St. Elizabeth of Hungary, and of all the saints
who were at the head of our Catholic nations and who thus helped
to make Christianity.
What faith they had in the Holy Mass! King St.
Louis of France served two Masses every day. If he was traveling
and happened to hear church bells ringing to announce the consecration,
he would dismount to adore on bended knee the miracle being performed
at that moment. There indeed was Catholic civilization! How far
from such faith we are now, how far indeed!
There is another event which we are bound to
mention after these pictures of Christian civilization in Africa,
and in our own history, that of France particularly. A recent event,
an event in the life of the Church, and an important event: the
Second Vatican Council. We are obliged to declare that the enemies
of the Church knew very well, perhaps better than we, what the value
of just one Mass is. There was a poem once written on this subject
in which one finds words attributed to Satan showing how he trembles
each time a Mass, a true Catholic Mass, is celebrated because he
is thus reminded of the memory of the Cross, and he knows well that
it was by the Cross that he was vanquished. The enemies of the Church
who perform sacrilegious masses in the well-known sects, and the
Communists, too, know what value is to be had from one Mass, one
true Catholic Mass.
I was recently told that in Poland the Communist
Party through their “Inspectors of Religion,” keep under
surveillance those priests in Poland who say the Old Mass but leave
alone those who say the New. They persecute those who say the Old
Mass, the Mass of All Time. A foreign priest visiting Poland may
say what Mass he pleases in order to give the impression of freedom,
but the Polish priests who decide to hold firm to Tradition are
I read recently a document about the PAX
movement which was communicated to us in June of 1963 in the name
of Card. Wyszynski. This document told us:
think we have freedom, you are made to think that we have it, and
it is the priests affiliated with PAX, who are friends of the Communist
government, who spread these ideas abroad because they are propagandists
for the government, as is even the progressive French press. But
it is not true; we are not free.
Card. Wyszynski gave precise details. He said that in the youth camps
organized by the Communists the children were kept behind barbed wire
on Sundays to keep them from going to Mass. He told, too, how vacation
hideaways organized by the Catholic priests were surveyed from helicopters
to see if the youth were going to Mass. Why, why this need to spy
upon children on their way to Mass? Because they know that the Mass
is absolutely anti-Communist and, how indeed could it be otherwise?
For what is Communism if not “all for the Party and all for the Revolution”?
The Mass, on the other hand, is “all for God.” Not at all the same
thing is it?
All for God! This is the Catholic Mass, opposed
as it is to the program of the Party, which is a Satanic program.
You know well that we are all tested, that we are all beset with difficulties
in our lives, in our earthly existence. We all have the need to know
why we suffer, why these trials and sorrows, why these Catholics are
lying sick in their beds; the hospitals are full of sick people. Why?
The Christian responds: to unite my sufferings
to those of Our Lord on the altar, to unite them on the altar and
through that act to participate in the work of redemption, to merit
for myself and for other souls the joy of heaven.
Now it was during the Council that the enemies of the Church infiltrated
Her, and their first objective was to demolish and destroy the Mass
insofar as they could. You can read the books of Michael Davies, an
English Catholic, who has written magnificent works which demonstrate
how the liturgical reform of Vatican II closely resembles that produced
under Cranmer at the birth of English Protestantism. If one reads
the history of that liturgical transformation, made also by Luther,
one sees that now it is exactly the same procedure which is being
slowly followed and to all appearances, still apparently good and
Catholic. But it is just that character of the Mass which is sacrificial
and redemptive of sin, through the Blood of Our Lord Jesus Christ,
which they have removed. They have made of the Mass a simple assembly,
one among others, merely presided over by the priest. That is not
It is not surprising that the Cross no longer triumphs, because
the sacrifice no longer triumphs. It is not surprising that men
think no longer of anything but raising their standard of living,
that they seek only money, riches, pleasures, comfort, and the easy
ways of this world. They have lost the sense of sacrifice.
What does it remain for us to do, my dear brethren,
if in this manner we deepen our understanding of the great mystery
which is the Mass? Well, I think I can say what we should have:
a crusade! A crusade supported by the Holy Sacrifice of the
Mass, by the Blood of Our Lord Jesus Christ, by that invincible
rock, that inexhaustible source of grace, the Holy Sacrifice of
This we see every day. You are here because you
love the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass. And these young seminarians
who are in the seminary in Ecône, the United States, and Germany—why
do they come into our seminaries? For the Holy Mass, for the Holy
Mass of All Time which is the source of grace, the source of the
Holy Ghost, the source of Christian civilization; that is the reason
for the priest.
It is necessary that we undertake a crusade,
a crusade which is based precisely upon these notions of immutability,
of sacrifice, in order to recreate Christianity, to re-establish
a Christendom such as the Church desires, such as She has always
done, with the same principles, the same Sacrifice of the Mass,
the same sacraments, the same catechism, the same Holy Scripture.
We must recreate this Christendom! It is to you, my dear brethren,
you who are the salt of the earth and the light of the world, that
our Lord Jesus Christ addressed Himself in saying: “Do not lose
the fruit of My Blood, do not abandon My Calvary, do not abandon
My Sacrifice.” And the Virgin Mary who stands beneath the Cross,
tells you the same thing as well. She, whose heart is pierced, full
of sufferings and sorrow, yet at the same time filled with the joy
of uniting herself to the Sacrifice of her Divine Son; she says
to you as well: “Let us be Christians; let us be Catholics.”
Let us not be borne away by all these worldly
ideas, by all these currents of thought which are in the world,
and which draw us to sin and to hell. If we want to go to heaven
we must follow Our Lord Jesus Christ. We must carry our cross and
follow Our Lord Jesus Christ, imitating Him in His Cross, in His
suffering, in His Sacrifice.
Thus I ask the youth, the young people who are
here in this hall, to ask us to explain to them these things that
are so beautiful and so great, so as to choose their vocations,
whatever be the calling that they may elect—be they priests or religious
men and women, or married by the Sacrament of Matrimony, and, therefore,
in the Cross of Jesus Christ, and in the Blood of Jesus Christ,
married in the grace of Our Lord Jesus Christ. Let them comprehend
the greatness of matrimony, and let them prepare themselves worthily
for it—by purity and chastity, by prayer and reflection. Let them
not be carried away by all the passions which engulf the world.
Thus let this be the crusade of the young who must aspire to the
Let it be as well a crusade for Christian families.
You Christian families who are here, consecrate yourselves to the
Heart of Jesus, to the Eucharistic Heart of Jesus and to the Immaculate
Heart of Mary. Oh, pray together in the family! I know that many
of those among you already do so, but may there always be more and
more of you who do so with fervor. Let Our Lord truly reign in your
Cast away, I beg of you, anything which impedes
children from entering your family. There is no greater gift that
the Good God can bestow upon your hearths than to have many children.
Have big families. it is the glory of the Catholic Church—the large
family! It has been so in Canada, it has been so in Holland, it
has been so in Switzerland and it has been so in France—every-where
the large family was the joy and prosperity of the Church. There
are that many more chosen souls for heaven! Therefore do not limit,
I beg you, the gifts of God; do not listen to these abominable slogans
which destroy the family, which ruin health, which ruin the household,
and provoke divorce.
And I wish that, in these troubled times, in
this degenerate urban atmosphere in which we are living, that you
return to the land whenever possible. The land is healthy; the land
teaches one to know God; the land draws one to God; it calms temperaments,
characters, and encourages the children to work.
And if it is necessary, yes, you yourselves will
make the school for your children. If the schools should corrupt
your children, what are you going to do? Deliver them to the corrupters?
To those who teach these abominable sexual practices in the schools?
To the so-called “Catholic” schools run by religious men and women
where they simply teach sin? In reality that is what they are teaching
to the children: they corrupt them from their tenderest youth. Are
you to put up with that? It is inconceivable! Rather that your children
be poor—that they be removed from this apparent science that the
world possesses—but that they be good children, Christian children,
Catholic children, who love their holy religion, who love to pray,
and who love to work; children who love the earth which the Good
God has made.
Finally, a crusade as well for heads of families.
You who are the head of your household, you have a grave responsibility
in your countries. You do not have the right to let your country
be invaded by Socialism and Communism! You do not have the right,
or else you are no longer Catholic! You must fight at the time of
elections in order that you may have Catholic mayors, Catholic deputies,
so that France finally may become Catholic again. That is not mere
politics, that is to wage a good, campaign, a campaign such as was
waged by the saints, such as was waged the popes who opposed Attila,
such as was waged by St. Remy who converted Clovis, such as was
waged by Joan of Arc who saved France from Protestantism. If Joan
of Arc had not been raised up in France we would all be Protestants!
It was in order to keep France Catholic that Our Lord raised up
Joan of Arc, that child of seventeen years, who drove the English
out of France. That, too, is waging a political campaign.
Surely then this is the sort of politics which
we desire: the politics of the royalty of Our Lord Jesus Christ.
Just a few moments ago you were heard to chant: Christus vincit,
Christus regnat, Christus imperat. Are these but words, mere
lyrics, mere chants? No! It is necessary that they be a reality.
You heads of the family, you are the ones responsible for such realization,
both for your children and for the generations which are to come.
Thus you should organize yourselves now, conduct meetings and hear
yourselves out, with the object that France become once again Christian,
once again Catholic, It is not impossible, otherwise one would have
to say that the grace of the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass is no longer
grace, that God is no longer God, that Our Lord Jesus Christ is
no longer Our Lord Jesus Christ. One must have confidence in the
grace of Our Lord Who is all-powerful. I have seen this grace at
work in Africa. There is no reason why it will not work as well
here in these countries. This is the message I wanted to tell you
And you, dear priests, who hear me now, you too must make a profound
sacerdotal union to spread this crusade, to animate this crusade
in order that Jesus reign, that Our, Lord reign. And to do that
you must be holy. You must seek after sanctity and manifest it to
others, this holiness, this grace which acts in your souls and in
your hearts, this grace which you receive by the Sacrament of Holy
Eucharist and by the Holy Mass which you offer, which you alone
are capable of offering.
I shall finish, my dearly beloved brethren, by what I shall call
my testament. Testament—that is a very profound word—because I want
it to be the echo of the testament of Our Lord: Novi et aeterni
Novi et aeterni testamenti—it is the priest
who recites these words at the consecration of the Precious Blood—Hic
est enim calix Sanguinis mei: novi et aeterni testamenti. This
inheritance which Jesus Christ gave to us, it is His Sacrifice,
it is His Blood, it is His Cross. the ferment of all Christian civilization
and of all that is necessary for salvation.
And I say to you as well: for the glory of the Most Blessed Trinity,
for the love of Our Lord Jesus Christ, for the devotion to the Blessed
Virgin Mary, for the love of the Church, for the love of the Pope,
for the love of bishops, of priests, of all the faithful, for the
salvation of the world, for the salvation of souls, keep this testament
of Our Lord Jesus Christ! Keep the Sacrifice of Our Lord Jesus Christ.
Keep the Mass of All Time!
And you will see civilization reflourish, a civilization
which is not of this world, but a civilization which leads to the
Catholic City which is heaven. The Catholic city of this world is
made for nothing else than for the Catholic City of heaven.
Thus by keeping the Blood of Our Lord Jesus Christ,
by keeping His Sacrifice, by keeping this Mass—this Mass which has
been bequeathed to us by our predecessors, this Mass which has been
transmitted from the time of the Apostles unto this day. In a few
moments I am going to pronounce these words above the chalice of
my ordination, and how could you expect me to pronounce above the
chalice of my ordination any other words but those which I pronounced
50 years ago over this same chalice—it is impossible! I cannot change
the words! We shall therefore continue to pronounce the words of
the consecration as our predecessors have taught us, as the Pope,
bishops and priests who have been our instructors, have taught us,
so that Our Lord Jesus Christ reign, and so that souls be saved
through the intercession of our Good Mother in heaven.
Courtesy of the Angelus
Press, Regina Coeli House
2918 Tracy Avenue, Kansas City, MO 64109