Archbishop Marcel Lefebvre founded it and organized its hierarchy with the approval of diocesan authority, at a time when the Catholic priesthood was collapsing.
Its constitutions, placed under the patronage of St. Pius X, were hailed with an official letter of praise from the prefect of the Sacred Congregation for the Clergy, Cardinal John Joseph Wright, on February 18, 1971.
In his preface for the second edition of the Society’s statutes on March 20, 1990, Archbishop Lefebvre spoke of the action of Providence that, “in His infinite Wisdom has raised up a work for the restoration of the Catholic priesthood in order to preserve the Treasures which Jesus Christ entrusted to His Church. Namely, the Faith in its integrity, Divine Grace through His Sacrifice and His Sacraments, and pastors destined for the dispensation of these Treasures of Divine Life.”
Today, the SSPX has 637 priests, with 123 professed brothers and 79 oblate sisters working by their side. In its seminaries and novitiates throughout the world, about 250 young men are currently being formed in the service of the altar.
The year 2018 will be marked by an important event in the life of this priestly society. Indeed, the General Chapter comes together every 12 years to elect the Superior General and his two Assistants, but above all to ensure that the statutes are faithfully followed, always in the spirit in which the Society was founded.
A man of the Church who had acquired an important amount of experience in missionary lands, Archbishop Lefebvre warned against all innovations, except those having to do with the administration of the society that are made necessary by the development of the apostolate and the Society’s multiple works.
Thus, from July 11 to 21, 2018, the fourth General Chapter of the Society will take place in Switzerland, at the St. Pius X Seminary in Econe. The members of the General Council, the superiors of all seminaries and districts, and the priestly members with the most seniority will gather to designate the Society’s authorities and examine the different aspects of the life of the Society: community and liturgical life, apostolate and administration, sanctification of the members, and the fight of the Faith.
On this occasion, the Superior General, Bishop Bernard Fellay, has prescribed prayers that are to be recited daily in all the houses of the SSPX beginning on January 11, six months before the beginning of the Chapter: the recitation of the Veni Sancte Spiritus to ask the Holy Ghost for enlightenment, and the invocation of the Immaculate Heart of Mary and St. Pius X to obtain their protection and intercession. The faithful and all men of good will are cordially invited to join in these prayers.
Come Holy Ghost
Fill the hearts of Thy faithful, and kindle in them the fire of Thy love.
V. Send forth Thy Spirit, and they shall be created;
R. And Thou shalt renew the face of the earth.
Let Us Pray: O God, Who didst instruct the hearts of the faithful by the light of the Holy Ghost, grant that by the same Spirit we may be always truly wise, and ever rejoice in His consolation. Through Christ our Lord. Amen.
Immaculate Heart of Mary, pray for us who have recourse to thee.
St. Pius X, pray for us.