Mgr. Marcel Lefebvre, a bishop rose

Pope Pius XII appointed missionary priest 42 years Archbishop of Dakar, Senegal, and apostolic delegate of the Holy See for Francophone Africa. In 1962, he was elected Superior of the Congregation of the Holy Spirit, which has more than 5,000 priests. Pope John XXIII named him a member of the Preparatory Commission of Vatican II. However, in 1968, he resigned from his position as superior general, and in 1970 he founded Écône (Switzerland) the Priestly Fraternity of St. Pius X. The latter earned him worldwide fame because of its commitment to the "Mass Latin "and his opposition to some of the innovations of Vatican II (1962-1965). In 1988, he ordered four bishops Écône, despite the prohibition of Pope John Paul II. So what is the secret of the influence of this man? Throughout a fascinating biography, unfolds gradually the mystery of an extraordinary man, who was so extraordinarily confident because he was absolutely sure of God. 


Marcel Lefebvre was born in northern France, Tourcoing, 29 November 1905, the third of eight children. The five seniors will devote themselves to God, two priests and three nuns. Marcel was baptized the day after his birth. He receives a deeply Catholic education in a religious family of the industrial bourgeoisie. His father ran a woolen mill. He made his first communion on December 25 1911 Member of the Eucharistic Crusade child, it becomes Crusader in 1920. 

Priestly formation 
October 25, 1923, the young Marcel joined the French Seminary in Rome, then headed by Father Henri Le Floch. It tonsured September 19, 1925 in the church of the Lateran Roman Seminary by Bishop Giuseppe Palica. He received minor orders of porter and drive March 20, 1926 from Cardinal Pompilj in the Basilica of St. John Lateran. Minor orders exorcist and acolyte conferred April 3, 1926. 
Marcel Lefebvre has to interrupt his priestly training to perform his military service in France. After his classes Mourmelon camp, he was assigned in December 1926 509th regiment of light tanks Valenciennes with the rank of sergeant. He resumed his studies at the French Seminary in Rome 17 November 1927 The establishment is now headed by Father Caesar Berthet. From 1927 to 1930, Marcel Lefebvre will be master of ceremonies. It is made sub-deacon by Bishop Raffaele Rossi Carlo March 30, 1929, the seminary of the Lateran, and finally received the diaconate May 25, 1929 from Cardinal Pompilj in the Basilica of St. John Lateran. Meanwhile he completed his ecclesiastical studies at the Pontifical Gregorian University, where he earned his doctorate in philosophy and theology. 
Marcel Lefebvre was ordained September 21, 1929 by Bishop Liénart in the Chapel of Our Lady of the Sacred Heart in Lille. Father Lefebvre was appointed curate in the Lille suburb of Lomme. Desiring to be a missionary to the blacks, in 1931 he joined the novitiate of the Congregation of the Fathers of the Holy Spirit where he delivered his religious profession on September 8 1932, sailed November 12, 1932 for Gabon. 
Missionary in Gabon 
It is first loaded by the Bishop of Libreville, Bishop Tardy, training African priests at the seminary in Libreville, where he taught dogmatic theology and Scripture. In 1934 he became head of the seminary. On 28 September 1935 he made ​​his final vows. Three years later he was sent into the bush to evangelize more sectors for Donguila, Lambaréné and N'djolé. He learned the local language, Fang. Father Marcel is so superior Gabon various assignments until 1945, when it is called by the Provincial of France. 
Meanwhile, Marcel Lefebvre lost his mother, who died a holy death in 1938 and his father, René Lefebvre, who was arrested by the Gestapo in 1941 for his resistance activities. He died in February 1944 at the prison in Sonnenburg, rosary in hand, a victim of the Nazi madness. 
Bishop in Black Africa 
On October 16, 1945 Father Marcel Lefebvre was appointed director of seminary of philosophy at Mortain, in Normandy, where reappointed to the training of future priests. But June 12, 1947, Pope Pius XII appointed Vicar Apostolic of Dakar. He was consecrated bishop by Cardinal Liénart, Bishop of Lille, September 18, 1947, in his home parish of Our Lady of Tourcoing. Archbishop Marcel Lefebvre takes office in Dakar, November 16, 1947. 
The following year, September 22, 1948, the pope appointed him Apostolic Delegate for French-speaking black Africa, representing 18 countries. For 15 years, he will remake widespread missionary work Gabonese years, based around new dioceses, seminaries, schools and convents. Very plain to Pius XII, he comes to Rome at least once a year to report on its work and receive his instructions. The Angelic Shepherd chose him to become the first archbishop of Dakar, where the Archbishop is enthroned solemnly by Cardinal Tisserant 14 September 1955 he received the pallium June 12, 1958. 
After the election of John XXIII, Archbishop Lefebvre was relieved of his post as Apostolic Delegate, Archbishop of Dakar but still. President of the Episcopal Conference of West Africa, it is called June 5, 1960 to serve on the Central Preparatory Commission of the Council that the Pope announced to the world last year. On 15 November 1960 the pope appointed him Assistant to the Pontifical Throne. The following year he was appointed Bishop of Tulle in France, the seat of which he took possession on January 23 1962 Archbishop Lefebvre left Africa after having organized 21 new dioceses. 
Bishop of Tulle, then Superior General of the Holy Ghost Fathers 
A Tulle, the situation is grim, vocations down, as religious practice. Priests live in poverty and become discouraged. Lefebvre goes to work, receiving each of his priests with great kindness, visiting them and encouraging them, showing them the importance of their well celebrated Mass, even some believers would attend. However, after only six months, the archbishop was called to Rome, where the Congregation of the Fathers of the Holy Spirit comes to elect him as Superior General, July 26 August 1962 The pope then honored with the title of Archbishop of Synnada in Phrygia (now suhut, Turkey). 
Very impressed with the difference between the flourishing mission he was leaving and desolation he found in France, he understands that the abandonment of the cassock goes with many other dropouts inspired by secularisation and secularism ambient, and especially deceptive mirage of "openness to the world," so contrary to the true missionary zeal. 
On July 26, 1962 Archbishop Lefebvre was elected Superior General of the Congregation of the Fathers of the Holy Spirit. Shortly after opening the Second Vatican Council, October 11, 1962. 
Vatican II 
Archbishop Lefebvre participate in all sessions of the Council, and actively participates in Coetus Internationalis Patrum, a group that he chairs. During the discussion, the meeting opposes valiantly to innovative and liberal balance that is felt in the conciliar aula. 
The post-conciliar fully justified the fears of conservatives, especially after the implementation of reforms. Parishes are emptied, the religious and priestly life withers, convents and seminaries are closing for lack of vocations. The Congregation of the Fathers of the Holy Spirit, with more than 5,000 members and sixty bishops, is not immune to the turmoil. For failing to sign a "aggiornamento" that provides catastrophic Lefebvre resigned as Superior General in exceptional Chapter opens in Rome on September 8 1968, can not cover its authority in the upheavals religious and liturgical life that must apply on behalf of the "spirit of the Council". 
The foundation of the Priestly Society of St. Pius X 
Archbishop Lefebvre remains consultor to the Sacred Congregation of the Propagation of the Faith (it will remain until 1972) and lives in retirement in Rome Casalmonferrato street near via Tusculane. It is visited by young people clueless in receiving a priestly training in accordance with the Tradition of the Church. He directs them to the University of Fribourg in Switzerland, where teaching remains correct. Thus, October 13, 1969, he opened an "international convict St. Pius X" with the encouragement of the local bishop, Mgr François Charrière. 
Desirous of a year of spirituality before addressing the proper ecclesiastical studies, Archbishop Lefebvre acquired the following year a domain Écône in Valais. Formerly the property of the Canons of the Great Saint Bernard, this home opens its doors on 1 October 1970, with the permission of the local bishop, Bishop Nestor Adam. 
A month later, on November 1, 1970, born officially the Priestly Fraternity of Saint Pius X approved and erected by Bishop Charriere, Bishop of Geneva, Lausanne and Fribourg. February 18, 1971, the work is the subject of a decree of praise prefect of the Sacred Congregation for the Clergy, Cardinal Wright. 
Archbishop Lefebvre refused conciliar reforms, especially the New Mass promulgated by Pope Paul VI, candidates flock to the first seminar and tensions are emerging, especially with the French bishops who believe they can report a "wild seminar," despite all the approvals that enjoys the Brotherhood. 
In 1973, with the help of his sister, Mother Mary Gabriel, religious of the Holy Spirit, Archbishop Lefebvre founded the Society of the Sisters of the Society of Saint Pius X to host girls willing to devote themselves to God. Soon a branch of the Brothers of the Society is erected, and the Oblate Sisters. 
On 21 November 1974, following the visit of the seminar, the Archbishop makes a public statement in which he proclaimed: "We adhere to all heart, all our soul to Catholic Rome, Guardian of the Catholic faith and traditions necessary maintenance of this faith, to eternal Rome, mistress of wisdom and truth. We refuse cons and have always refused to follow the Rome of neo-Modernist and neo-Protestant trend is clearly manifested during the Second Vatican Council and after the Council in all the reforms that are coming. "
On 6 May 1975, the successor of Bishop Charriere withdraws approval of the Priestly Society of St. Pius X. Lefebvre tried unsuccessfully to appeal the decision. The following year, on July 1, 1976, he was declared pending a divinis by Pope Paul VI for continuing to ordain priests. The summer sees resistance to the "self-destruction of the Church" to take global. 
Archbishop Lefebvre hopes for the election of a new pope in the person of John Paul II on 16 October 1978 was received in audience less than a month later, on November 18th 1978 The doctrinal discussions with the Cardinal Prefect of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith, Joseph Ratzinger, will not succeed. 
In 1982 Archbishop Lefebvre leaves the burden of Superior General is entrusted to Mr. Abbot Franz Schmidberger. 
On 21 November 1983 the Archbishop publish with Bishop de Castro Mayer, Bishop of Campos in Brazil, an Episcopal manifesto in which he denounced "the principal errors of conciliar ecclesiology" latitudinariste and ecumenical understanding of the church; collegial and democratic government; false natural rights; misconception of the power of the Pope; Protestant understanding of the Mass; Free distribution of errors and heresies. Both bishops conclude their appeal with these words: "It is time that the Church regains his freedom to bring about the Kingdom of our Lord Jesus Christ and the Kingdom of Mary regardless of his enemies." 
Two years later, the Archbishop wrote to the cardinals to protest against the holding of interfaith Assisi (October 27, 1986) meeting. In 1987 the response of the Roman authorities to doubts about the new doctrine of religious liberty convinced of the seriousness of liberal principles that now guide the Holy See. Despite an attempt to obtain a canonical recognition in 1987-1988, and at the inadequate cover from Rome to ensure the survival of his priestly work, Lefebvre coronation four bishops Écône June 30, 1988. 
Sick, he died March 25, 1991 at the hospital in Martigny. It is solemnly buried Écône April 2, where he remains in the vault of the seminar. 
According to his wish was written on his grave the words of St. Paul: "quod Tradidi and accepi," "I forwarded what I received" (1 Cor 11, 23.).