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[Image: archbishop_lefebvre_africa_apostolic_delegate500.jpg]
Archbishop Lefebvre as Apostolic Delegate
for French-speaking Africa

Extracted from Archbishop Lefebvre's 1979 Jubilee sermon

The notion of sacrifice is a profoundly Christian and a profoundly Catholic notion. Our life cannot be spent without sacrifice, since Our Lord Jesus Christ, God Himself, willed to take a body like our own and say to us: “Follow Me, take up thy cross and follow Me if thou wilt be saved.” And He has given us the example of His death upon the Cross; He has shed His Blood. Would we then dare - we, His miserable creatures, sinners that we are - not to follow Our Lord in pursuit of His Sacrifice, in pursuit of His Cross?

There is the entire mystery of Christian civilization. There is that which is the root of Christian civilization: the comprehension of sacrifice in one’s life, in daily life, the understanding of Christian suffering, no longer considering suffering as an evil, as an unbearable sorrow, but sharing one’s sufferings and one’s sickness with the sufferings of Our Lord Jesus Christ, in looking upon His Cross, in assisting at the Holy Mass, which is the continuation of the Passion of Our Lord upon Calvary.

Once understood, suffering becomes a joy and a treasure because these sufferings, if united to those of Our Lord, if united to those of all the martyrs, of all Catholics, of all the faithful who suffer in this world, if. united to the Cross of Our Lord, they, then become an inexpressible treasure, a treasure unutterable, and achieve an extraordinary capacity for the conversion of other souls and the salvation of our own. Many holy souls, Christians, have even desired to suffer in order to unite themselves more closely to the Cross of Our Lord Jesus Christ. There you have Christian civilization:

Blessed are those who suffer for righteousness sake.
Blessed are the poor.
Blessed are the meek.
Blessed are the merciful.
Blessed are the peace-makers.

These are the teachings of the Cross; it is this that Our Lord Jesus Christ teaches us by His Cross.

This Christian civilization, penetrating to the depths of nations only recently pagan [referring to what he witnessed in Africa], has transformed them, and impelled them to desire and thus to choose Catholic heads of state. I myself have known and aided the leaders of these Catholic countries. Their Catholic peoples desired to have Catholic leaders so that even their governments and all the laws of their land might be submissive to the laws of Our Lord Jesus Christ and to the Ten Commandments.