of Archbishop Marcel Lefebvre
On the Feast of the Assumption of the Most Blessed Virgin
Saint Mary's College, St. Marys, Kansas
the Angelus Pilgrimage
from French by the Rev. Mr. Douglas Laudenschlager
My dear brethren,
When I came
to Saint Mary’s College for the first time two years ago, I was
amazed and stupefied by the magnificence of the chapel, of the chapel
dedicated to the Immaculate Conception. And when those who were
showing me around this magnificent chapel told me that it was a
shrine venerated throughout America, and particularly in this area,
I thought at once that, if God permitted us to have this property,
and especially this chapel, we would make of it a center of pilgrimage,
a center of devotion to the Most Blessed Virgin Mary for all America.
People would come from the North, from the South, from the East,
from the West, to this center which lies in the geographical center
of America, so as to manifest their devotion to the Most Blessed
Virgin Mary, and to discover at her feet the line of conduct to
follow in this terrible period that the Church is passing through
I was promising Father Bolduc that I would come for the feast of
August 15, to meet all those who would desire to come pray at the
feet of the Most Blessed Virgin, and to encourage them to preserve
the Catholic faith in union with the Virgin Mary. But by the decision
of Providence, the chapel caught fire. This was a great trial for
us. It was indeed a disaster. Our hearts were in anguish. But since
God had decided thus, we still thought that we should maintain this
date for the pilgrimage, and that, since it had become necessary,
we would reconstruct the chapel.
And what we
did just a little while ago - the blessing of the cornerstone -
is proof that you are determined to rebuild the chapel for the glory
of the Most Blessed Virgin. I am convinced that all of you will
help to make of this shrine a shrine as beautiful, if not more beautiful,
than that which was there before. And I am happy to see that you
have come - despite the destruction, you have come from all parts
of America. I also thank the priests who are present, and especially
Msgr. Donahue, who has come from Los Angeles, to celebrate with
us this Feast of the Assumption of the Most Blessed Virgin Mary.
In a few words
I would like to show you how much the Most Blessed Virgin Mary,
in this painful crisis that the Church is going through, should
be our guide and our model. With her we are certain not to go astray.
We shall look to her, we shall ask her what she did during the course
of her life, what she has to teach us, and we shall see that the
Most Blessed Virgin Mary teaches us just what the Church has taught
us ever since, in the course of twenty centuries.
The first element
that concerns the Most Blessed Virgin Mary, and that announces her,
is found in the protogospel, in Genesis, where already Mary is presented
as a queen going forth to battle, as the queen of hosts, queen of
armies who gathers about herself all the forces of God, all the
graces of God, and this to fight. To fight whom? To fight what?
To fight the devil!
It is God Himself
who announces this to the devil: “I shall place between thee - the
devil, Satan - and the Virgin Mary an enmity.” So the Virgin has
an enemy. And not only an enmity between the Virgin Mary and Satan,
but an enmity between the progeny of Satan and the progeny of Mary;
between the world, between everything represented by those who are
the children of Satan, but those who struggle against God, who detest
God, and the Son of Mary, Our Lord Jesus Christ, and all those who
will be the children of the Virgin Mary.
There are then,
by the will of God, two armies in the world: an army of the children
of the Virgin Mary, and an army of the children of Satan. And between
them, God has placed an enmity, an enmity that will last until the
end of time, until the end of the world. Consequently, the Virgin
Mary, already, before being born, promised by God, draws us into
a combat, into her combat, into the combat that will lead her to
victory. A combat, however, which, alas, will often be waged in
painful, in difficult, and in trying periods. But if we follow the
Virgin Mary we are sure with her to achieve victory.
that the Virgin Mary desires is a victory against Satan and, consequently,
against sin. The Virgin Mary is the symbol of those who do not want
to sin, who do not want to disobey God. This is the battle that
the Virgin Mary is going to wage through the ages. So it is a great
lesson that God gives us in announcing the birth of His Mother,
in announcing that we shall have a Mother, a heavenly Mother, a
Mother who will do battle. So we shall do battle with her and we
must do battle against the common enemy who is Satan, and all those
who with Satan are against God.
have observed nowadays in modern ecclesiastical literature that
they no longer want to talk about the enemies of the Church, they
no longer want to talk about the enemies of God, the enemies of
Our Lord Jesus Christ. They would like these enemies to become brothers.
Instead of combating sin in them, the sin that removes them from
God, by loving them, by seeking to convert them, it now seems that
those who believe in the Virgin Mary, that the children of the Virgin
Mary and those who are not children of the Virgin Mary, are all
is not true. We must strive to bring them to become children of
Mary, but we cannot recognize them as children of God if they are
not children of Mary.
lesson that the Most Blessed Virgin Mary gives us, when she was
visited by the Angel Gabriel, is her faith. The first act noted
for us in the Gospel on the occasion of the Annunciation is the
faith of Mary. And her cousin Elizabeth congratulates her: “Beata
quae credidisti: blessed art thou who hast believed.” Yes, the
Most Blessed Virgin Mary believed. She believed in whom, in what?
She believed that the Son who was to be born of her was the Son
of God; she believed in the Divinity of Our Lord Jesus Christ; she
believed in the Divinity of her divine Son.
This is the
great lesson that the Most Blessed Virgin Mary gives us. Henceforth,
she lives only for the Reign of her Son, for the glory of her Son,
Our Lord Jesus Christ. In the greatest humility - she says herself
that she was chosen because of her humility.
did not hesitate to praise her precisely for this: “Blessed art
thou, O Mary, because thou hast believed.” This should also be our
own first conviction: We must believe; we must believe that Our
Lord Jesus Christ is the Son of God. We must believe all our Credo,
the whole faith that the Most Blessed Virgin had transmitted, that
the Most Blessed Virgin manifested to the Apostles and that the
Apostles transmitted. We must keep this faith intact. Let us ask
the Virgin Mary to have faith like hers - to have faith as deep,
as firm, as courageous as that of the Most Blessed Virgin Mary.
The third event
in the life of the Virgin Mary that shows us how we should behave
is what took place at the wedding feast of Cana. You remember that
they ran out of wine during the wedding feast of Cana. The servants
came to tell Mary that there was no more wine. And what did Mary
tell the servants? “Do all that He tells you; do all that my divine
Son tells you.” This is the Gospel of Mary. All is summarized in
this phrase: “Do what Jesus tells you.”
these words to us as well, not only to the servants of Cana. At
the very beginning of the period of evangelization of Our Lord,
the Most Blessed Virgin is already speaking to us, is already speaking
to those who will be the disciples of Our Lord. And when we appeal
to the Most Blessed Virgin Mary to ask her what we should do in
the difficult circumstances of our lives, the Most Blessed Virgin
Mary will answer us just as she answered the servants at the wedding
feast of Cana: “Do all that He tells you. Do the will of Our Lord.
Observe the commandments of Our Lord Jesus Christ. If you do the
will of Our Lord, if you do the will of my divine Son, then you
will be saved. Then your soul, which is perhaps like water, will
be changed into wine, a generous wine. Your soul will be filled
with the grace of the Lord. Your soul will be filled with all that
is necessary for you to fulfill the commandments of God. This is
the third lesson that our heavenly Mother gives us.
lesson that the Most Blessed Virgin Mary gives us is her presence
on Calvary. Her presence on Calvary, where she is not the priest
who offers the sacrifice - the priest who offers the sacrifice is
Our Lord Jesus Christ Himself - but the Most Blessed Virgin Mary
is there, present. The Apostles are absent; only Saint John is with
By this presence
on Calvary, the Virgin Mary shows us the importance of the Sacrifice
of Calvary, and, consequently, the importance of the Sacrifice of
the Mass. She is the Mother of priests. She is the Mother of all
the faithful. And by this presence, standing before her divine Son,
who is covered with blood, whose blood was poured forth for our
sins, the Most Blessed Virgin Mary shows Him to us, and says to
us, “See the love He has for you: my divine Son has given all His
blood, this blood that I myself gave Him in my womb, this blood
that is now all over His body. His heart is open. His head is pierced
with thorns. His hands are pierced; His feet pierced - all that
by love for you.” And this will continue until the end of time through
the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass.
Thus the Most
Blessed Virgin Mary teaches us the great mystery of the love of
Our Lord Jesus Christ, realized in the Sacrifice of Calvary, in
the Sacrifice of the Mass, and in the Eucharist. For the Sacrifice
of the Mass also gives us the Eucharist; this Flesh and Blood of
the Victim that we must eat and drink to obtain eternal life. It
is Our Lord Jesus Christ Himself who said so; “If you do not eat
my flesh and drink my blood, you will not have eternal life.” So
Our Lord Jesus Christ accomplished this unimaginable, the incredible
miracle of really giving us His body and His blood to eat and drink.
This is what the great love of Our Lord Jesus Christ accomplished,
and this is the lesson that the Virgin Mary gives us by her presence
at the feet of her divine Son on Calvary.
last lesson that the Most Blessed Virgin Mary gives us is that of
her presence in the midst of the Apostles the day of Pentecost.
It is through her that the graces will be given to the Apostles
and that the Holy Ghost will descend upon the Apostles. The Church
teaches us so. The Apostles were sanctified on that day by the Holy
Ghost through the intercession of the Most Blessed Virgin Mary,
through the mediation of the Most Blessed Virgin Mary.
She no longer
needed to receive the Holy Ghost. She was filled with the Holy Ghost.
The Angel Gabriel had told her so: “Thou art filled with the Holy
Ghost.” She no longer needed to receive Him. But if she was present,
it is because she wanted to communicate the Holy Ghost to the Apostles,
and because Our Lord wanted Him to be communicated to them through
her - to them and, consequently, to the Church. There she truly
became the Mother of the Church, because it was she who by her mediation
gave the Holy Ghost to the Apostles.
So the Most
Blessed Virgin teaches us to love the Church, to love the Holy Ghost
- the Holy Ghost, who is given to us by all the Sacraments instituted
by Our Lord, and especially by the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass and
by the Eucharist. This is what the Most Blessed Virgin Mary teaches
we must be attached to the Church, and it is because we are attached
to the Church that we defend our holy Mother the Church. The Roman
Catholic Church is our mother. And it is because we are the devoted
sons of the Church, because we love the Church, because we love
Rome, because we love all those who truly represent the Holy Catholic
Church, that we defend our faith, that we defend what the Virgin
Mary has given us.
We do not want
them to change our Church. We want no other Church. We want the
Roman Catholic Church, that which the Most Blessed Virgin Mary communicated
to the Apostles in the Holy Ghost. This is the Church that we want.
This is the Church that we love - the Church of the Mother of Jesus,
the Church of the Most Blessed Virgin Mary, the Church of the Immaculate
Conception, the Church of Our Lady of the Assumption. This is the
Church that we want. This is the Church that we venerate, the Church
to which we wish forever to remain subject. So we beg those who
have posts of authority in the Church not to change our Church,
to remain faithful to the Church of Mary, to remain faithful to
the Most Blessed Virgin Mary, to all the lessons that the Most Blessed
Virgin Mary has given us.
And I beg you,
my dear brethren, to be the leaven - the leaven of the Catholic
Church, of this love for the Catholic Church, in all your regions,
in all your families, in all your homes. Remain children of Mary.
Pray to the Most Blessed Virgin Mary. Meditate on the lessons that
the Most Blessed Virgin Mary gives you. Then you will be true Catholics.
You cannot be children of the Most Blessed Virgin Mary, in a full
and holy manner, without being the best children of the Catholic
Church. This is what reassures us that we are indeed true sons of
the Catholic Church.
So I am convinced
that when you return home you will be true representatives of the
Catholic Church, and that you will do all you can so that she continues,
despite the difficulties, despite the trials, despite the contradictions.
We must all pray together today for you to be witnesses. Just as
the Apostles received the Holy Ghost through the Virgin Mary, and
went forth to give witness to the Gospel throughout the world, so
you also must be the witnesses of the Virgin Mary, of the Holy Ghost
that you have received through her, and give witness to your faith
in God, of your faith in Our Lord Jesus Christ, of your love for
the Church, wherever you may be. This is what God desires.
You are the
Church! You are the Church! You are the Catholic Church! So let
us remain in this Church of the Virgin Mary. Let us confide in her.
Let us confide to her our families, especially our children, who
so need the help of the Virgin Mary to remain in the true Catholic
you with all my heart for preserving this faith. I also congratulate
you with all my heart to see that you have so many children. We
observe that half of the assembly here is composed of persons less
than twenty years old. This is a sign, a sign of your fidelity to
the Catholic Church, a sign of your fidelity to the commandments
of God. I congratulate you, and I am sure that God's blessings are
I hope that
next year, or perhaps in two years, I do not know, if, of course,
God gives me life, that I shall be able again, with you to say Mass,
no longer here, but to say it in our beautiful basilica, which will
be rebuilt, by the grace of God. And we shall be able to sing the
praises of the Virgin Mary, as we are doing today, but perhaps with
still greater beauty and a still greater number of pilgrims.
May God bless
you, in the Name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy
Courtesy of the Angelus
Press, Regina Coeli House
2918 Tracy Avenue, Kansas City, MO 64109
II, No. 9, June 1979