The priesthood of Jesus Christ

The Catholic priesthood is the heart of the Society of St. Pius X. Training and supporting holy priests is its primary goal.


The Society’s purpose is the priesthood and all that pertains to it and nothing but what concerns it; i.e., the priesthood as Our Lord Jesus Christ willed it when he said: Do this for a commemoration of me.” (Statutes of the SSPX)

The Society must therefore orient the priest towards—and have him concretize in his daily life what is essentially his raison d’etre—the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass, with all that it means, all that flows from it, and all that complements it.

The Apostle of the Gentiles thus perfectly sums up what may be said of the greatness, the dignity and the duty of the Christian priesthood: Sic nos existimet homo ut ministros Christi et dispensatores mysteriorum Dei—'Let a man so account of us as of the ministers of Christ and the dispensers of the mysteries of God.'

The priest is the minister of Christ, an instrument, that is to say, in the hands of the Divine Redeemer. He continues the work of the redemption in all its world-embracing universality and divine efficacy, that work that wrought so marvelous a transformation in the world.

Thus the priest, as is said with good reason, is indeed 'another Christ'; for, in some way, he is himself a continuation of Christ. 'As the Father hath sent Me, I also send you,' is spoken to the priest, and hence the priest, like Christ, continues to give 'glory to God in the highest and on earth peace to men of good will.'" Pius XI, Ad Catholici Sacerdotii

Priesthood, continuation of the Incarnation

Everything was created so that one day our Lord Jesus Christ might come into the world and sing there the glory of God in the name of all the universe...

The reason our Lord Jesus Christ instituted the sacrament of Holy Orders was that he might continue His Incarnation and His Redemption here among us.

The principal work which the most holy Trinity had in view from all eternity was to make us participate in the Incarnation and the Redemption of our Lord Jesus Christ by union with His blood, His soul and his divinity. The sacrament of Holy Orders is so important in the Church because it allows our Lord to continue His incarnation... He continues it by His real presence.

What our Lord wants is to be incarnated in us, in a certain manner, so that he might transform us, poor sinful creatures that we are; so that He might redeem us, purify us by His blood, unite us to Himself, and so prepare us for eternal life...

That is why the sacrament of Holy Orders is so beautiful and so great. Nothing draws us close to God, nothing makes us understand God, like the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass. That is why the priesthood is so important.

Archbishop Marcel Lefebvre, Priestly Holiness, pp. 186-187

Oriented towards sacrifice

The priest is made first and foremost for the sacrifice and that is why, on the very day of their ordination, the new priests offer the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass with the bishop. He teaches them to murmur, in a way, for the first time, the mysterious and sublime words of the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass, which the faithful need more than they need anything else...

If the priest considers himself, he cannot have any pretension to such a sublimity, such a glory, such a participation in Him who is the priest for eternity, the High Priest. But by the grace of God, by the grace received on the day of priestly ordination, yes, the priest is worthy before God and before the Angels to offer the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass; to make the blood of our Lord Jesus Christ descend on souls by absolution in order to take away their sins; to make the water of baptism flow over the foreheads of children, that they might be baptised and raised up in the blood of our Lord Jesus Christ. Those are the powers which the bishop gives to the priest on the day of his priestly ordination. In this way the mission of our Lord is continued throughout time.

Archbishop Marcel Lefebvre, Priestly Holiness, pp. 187-188