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Archbishop Lefebvre at Martigny
21 March 1982

My dear friends,

I am sure the Blessed Virgin Mary is happy today, that she is looking upon us with joy and that she has been much consoled with the prayers offered to her throughout the night just past. You have certainly been most obedient to the wishes of the Blessed Virgin Mary, following the initiative of some true and faithful Catholic laymen.

In all her apparitions and particularly at Fatima, she asked us to pray and do penance. This is why you are here, many of you coming from far away. In spite of inconveniences you have willingly taken on this penance and have come here to pray. To pray to the Blessed Virgin Mary, whose wish we shall fulfill in a few minutes when we repeat, in the words of Pope Pius XII, the consecration of the world and of Russia to the Immaculate Heart of Mary.

What Christian today, what faithful Catholic, does not feel the need to pray and do penance, in present world circumstances? We are a little like those who invited their friends to the wedding feast at Cana and, when they ran short of wine, turned to the Virgin Mary with anxious looks, asking the Mother of Jesus to put in a word with her Divine Son to relieve them of this worry of having no more wine to serve their guests. So Mary turned to Jesus and said to Him, "They have no wine." And Jesus performed the wonderful miracle of transforming water into wine. A mirror image of the situation we find ourselves in today!

We too turn to the Blessed Virgin, where we can still today find the grace of God, where we can still find divine life in this world. The wine symbolizes precisely the Blood of Christ, which transmits divine life to us. We shall listen to the words of the Blessed Virgin Mary saying, "Do whatever He tells you." So now, we too are making a resolution to listen to the Blessed Virgin and to do whatever Our Lord Jesus Christ tells us.

And what is He telling us? What is He revealing? His Revelation tells us that the most beautiful, the most admirable, the most perfect of His creatures did not make good use of the freedom which Our Lord, as God, gave them. Yes, He has shown us that this extraordinary conflict took place in heaven between the good angels and the wicked angels, between those who wanted to become like God and St. Michael the Archangel at the head of all the angels loyal to God. Quis ut Deus? "Who is like God?"

So He plunged the wicked angels into hell. This is what God tells us. Not only on earth, therefore, do men misuse their freedom, this extraordinary gift which God gave them to do good and not evil. It has already happened in heaven.

So the situation is that, henceforth and for all eternity, there will be, on the one side, the glory of Our Lord Jesus Christ united to the Father and to the Holy Ghost, which will shine in the hearts of all the elect, of all who are united to God: the holy angels, the Virgin Mary, St. Joseph, all the saints, the martyrs, all who follow the law of God and love Him here below.

And then there is hell. Hell, the place forever of those who tried to resist God, tried to make themselves God a state of eternal separation from God. This is what Our Lord teaches us.

He dwelt among us to make reparation for the sin of our first Parents, who had abused their freedom and disobeyed God. So He too found Himself in confrontation and opposition to those who wanted to put Him to death. Because Satan, if he can do no more in heaven, because he has been confined to hell once and for all, can still work here below and try to populate hell in ever greater numbers. God permits him to do this. We have seen Our Lord Jesus Christ persecuted by Satan, by the devil himself. Satan believed that his definitive victory had been achieved. He had succeeded in crucifying God Himself, body and soul. God seemed dead. He had breathed His last.

Satan cried victory, because it was Satan who wanted to crucify Him. This is in the Gospel. When Judas went off to betray Our Lord, having taken the Bread which Our Lord had given Him, the Gospel says, "Satan entered into his soul." So it is indeed a struggle, a struggle between Our Lord and all who wanted to crucify Him. And who showed up as the means of the crucifixion of Our Lord? False religions and bad governments. This is in the Gospel. The Scribes and the Pharisees said, "What do you think? He has blasphemed, because He makes Himself the Son of God, and because He has blasphemed, He must be crucified."

Yes, from that moment Israel abandoned the religion which Jesus had taught them. And instead of recognizing the divinity of Our Lord Jesus Christ, they rejected the Messias and crucified Him. There are also those who said, in the name of pagan governments, as Pilate hesitated to crucify Him, "If you do not put Him to death, you are no friend of Caesar, because everyone who makes himself king sets himself against Caesar." So you see, it is perfectly clear: in the Gospel there are false religions and bad governments which crucify Our Lord Jesus Christ. But, as you know, Our Lord escaped them. Satan thought He was dead once and for all, the Scribes and Pharisees too. And Our Lord rose, He ascended to heaven triumphantly, gloriously, henceforth for all eternity. He enters again into the glory of His Father and of the Holy Ghost in the Holy Trinity.

But He founded the Church, His Mystical Body which carries on the struggle, which henceforth will be open to all the attacks of the devil and of all those who wish to destroy Our Lord. Because Our Lord slipped past them, they will persecute members of the Church.

This is what Our Lord said to St. Paul to Saul on the road to Damascus, "Why persecutest thou Me?" Thus Our Lord considered persecution of His members as persecution of Himself. "Why persecutest thou Me?"

Yes, the Church is the Mystical Body of Our Lord Jesus Christ. So, throughout the history of the Church, you have seen this struggle carried on by heretics, by every means at their disposal, in all the attacks which the Church has undergone in the course of her history, all the martyrs and all those who have been witnesses of the divinity of Our Lord Jesus Christ and of the Church. This conflict continues, it continues into our own day. And it continues with the Blessed Virgin Mary at our side, because she has entered the lists. She is no pacifist, the Blessed Virgin Mary. "She is powerful," says the Scripture, "as an army in battle array." She is represented crushing the head of Satan. So she is in the struggle. She is on our side to help us.

Now what shall we do, we Catholics of the twentieth century, members of the Mystical Body of Our Lord Jesus Christ? Shall we lay down our arms? This is the drama of the Church today. They want us to lay down our arms. They want us to enter into a kind of pacifism which is nothing more nor less than cowardice. In the face of Satan, in the face of the enemy, in the face of all those who seek the destruction of the Church, in the face of those who want to crush all Christians, to finish off Our Lord Jesus Christ here below, we are supposed to lay down our weapons. First of all, the weapon of prayer. We are not supposed to pray any more. The churches will be empty. We will come no more to adore the Blessed Sacrament, no longer pray to the Blessed Virgin. So Satan will be happy, he will have won a great victory, and he will take millions and millions of souls to hell.

There you have it, my dear friends, the great drama which the Church is experiencing today, worse than the attacks of the Moslems in the time of Pope Saint Pius V; worse than Protestantism in the sixteenth century, worse than all heresies and schisms put together.

Today the evil is inside the Church. We must realize that, until the Second Vatican Council, popes, bishops, and priests fought courageously alongside the faithful, leading the faithful in the struggle against Satan and all his works.

Now we are astonished to see that, since the Council, because of two attitudes of those with responsibility in the Church, two attitudes which are contrary to this struggle, which undermine the Church, we are told we have now arrived at a time when we must have peace at any price.

So, vis-à-vis other religions, we have ecumenism. They are saying about all religions which are against the Church: "Now we must have unity, we must lay down our arms, we embrace you, in order to have union." The union of truth with error, the union of shadows with the Light, the union of Satan with God. This is what St. Paul says. How is it possible? It is part of what they call Ostpolitik. The Vatican has changed its policy. From now on we must cooperate with all hostile governments, hostile to the Church, governments which have only one end in view: to destroy Our Lord Jesus Christ in His embers, in His Church. This is their one aim. They use possible means, falsehood and with so much more effectiveness dialogue, if that will serve their purpose. This is the program: peaceful coexistence, detente, dialogue. We have handed over to these governments the poor priests and faithful who were fighting in defense of their faith.

At the present time in Czechoslovakia, in Rumania, there are bishops called Peace Priests, appointed by and answerable to the government, as in the Russian Orthodox Church, totally under the control of the communist government. And these bishops turn good priests out, turn good Catholics out, because they will not obey the communist government, because they want to have their children baptized, because they want their children taught the catechism, because the priests want to go out and visit the sick, to take Holy Communion to them, to teach catechism (secretly, if necessary), to hear confessions in homes, if people have difficulty in getting to church. All this is against the communist government regulations. This is why the bishops persecute these good priests.

And I say it is the same thing with us. I also say that these good priests, these good Catholics, are sacrificed on the altar of Ostpolitik and of dialogue with wicked governments, just as we are sacrificed on the altar of ecumenism, in maintaining our Catholic Faith, which teaches that there is only one Church.

There are not two religions, there is only the religion of God, the religion of Our Lord Jesus Christ. Our Lord Jesus Christ is God. He came to earth to found His religion. There are not two religions, there is only one religion, the Catholic religion, and so, if we believe there is only one religion, we should pray and do penance for the conversion of souls, for their conversion and not to embrace them with all their errors and vices. This is not doing them a favor. It is deceiving them. This has always been the attitude of the Church: to send missionaries all over the world, even if they are martyred, to win souls for Christ and for the Church.

It has never been understood that henceforth there should be no more missionaries. We want to uphold and prolong the Catholic Church. We want to uphold the social reign of Our Lord Jesus Christ. We want to proclaim that the Catholic Church is the true religion and that everyone is called to convert to the Catholic Church. For this we pray, we do penance and we try with all means at our disposal to do good wherever we are, in order to convert souls.

There you have it, my dear friends, the resolution which we should make today, especially to have devotion to the Blessed Virgin Mary and to her Immaculate Heart. With her we will fight, we will continue the combat. We will continue the fight against ourselves, against all that is evil in ourselves, all that is evil in our families, all that is evil in our cities, so that Our Lord Jesus Christ can reign everywhere and always. We will pray to the Good Lord and to the Blessed Virgin Mary to help us to continue the fight. We will not be taken in by this false ecumenism. This false ecumenism has completely transformed our holy liturgy. We reject this transformed liturgy which is supposed to turn us into Protestants, because we do not want to give the Eucharist to Protestants. They are not of our Faith. They cannot receive our Eucharist. We wish to convert them first, convert them to our Faith, and then they will be able to receive our Eucharist joyfully.

There you have, my dear friends, what I wanted to say to you. In a few minutes we shall join, shall we not, with our Lady of Fatima, with all those who have faith in Our Lady, especially to the great and venerated Pope Pius XII, who drew up this consecration to the Immaculate Heart of Mary. We shall repeat his very words and put our entire lives and souls under the protection of the Immaculate Heart and pray that the reign of Mary be established over the earth and over souls.

From Fideliter, May/June 1982 as published here.

[Emphasis - The Catacombs]