Christ’s Sacrifice, the chief object of the Church’s contemplation

In his spiritual conferences to seminarians, Archbishop Lefebvre insisted on devotion to the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass: 

It is vital to contemplate Holy Mass, to see in it Jesus on the cross, [1 ] to see in that cross the summit of God’s love."Our Lord can be described as love driven to the point of self-sacrifice, to the supreme sacrifice. Our Lord manifested His love for His Father, His love for His neighbor even to the supreme sacrifice, to the point of shedding the last drop of His blood. This has always been the principal object of the Church’s contemplation."


People lost sight of this somewhat because of the emphasis on devotion to the Real Presence, which is a perfectly legitimate devotion, but it obscured devotion to the Mass itself. I think that in our time devotion to Our Lord’s sacrifice, to the Mass must be restored to its place of honor.

This is precisely the central devotion of the Society of St. Pius X.

Consequently, keeping the Mass of All Time and rejecting the New Mass instituted by Pope Paul VI was one of the major battles of the prelate of Econe. He saw in the New Mass the cause of the loss of the spirit of sacrifice which is nonetheless the defining feature of the Christian spirit. Hence the final exhortation in his sermon for his priestly jubilee in 1979:


For the glory of the Most Blessed Trinity, for the love of Our Lord Jesus Christ, for the sake of 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!


“The spirit specific to the Society is that of living the holy sacrifice of the Mass.… Everything must be related to the holy sacrifice of the Mass. This is important.

"The Mass is the synthesis of faith, hope, and charity. It is the source of the life of grace. It is also in the Mass that we find daily the source of our sanctification, our apostolate, our preaching.”

Archbishop Marcel Lefebvre

Econe, November 7, 1974;

June 1, 1990