Omicron is a term known to everyone. Presumed a variant of the original Covid-19 virus, we are told it is less virulent than the original but more contagious. This Omicron variant appeared at the door of our headquarters in Rougemont at the beginning of the year and hit all of us to different degrees. For most, the effects were limited to the symptoms of a severe flu, which required a week or two of rest, but three Pilgrims were hospitalized briefly and discharged.
Unfortunately, one Pilgrim fell in combat: our Director General, Marcel Lefebvre, was taken to the hospital on January 9th for acute respiratory problems and passed away three days later on January 12th, at the age of 75. The previous day, he had been in great shape. Marcel Lefebvre left his mark after 58 years of service as a full-time Pilgrim of St. Michael.
His passing represents the turning of a page in the history of the Movement. One of his main achievements was bringing the good news of Economic Democracy to Africa, evidenced by the expressions of sympathy we received from all over the African continent, starting with Bishop Mathieu Madega from Gabon, who came to Rougemont four times to participate in Study Sessions on Economic Democracy (With determination). Marcel and his brother Réjean (who died in October 2017, after serving 53 years as a full-time Pilgrim) were well known to all the Pilgrims of Saint Michael in Canada.
We thank God for having sent us an apostle like Marcel, and we ask Him to send us others. Marcel's warmth and enthusiasm were contagious. He was always working, whether on the door-to-door apostolate or on the phone. He understood and argued the principles of Economic Democracy convincingly (the scandal of poverty).
We can say that the disciple, Marcel Lefebvre, learned well from the master, Louis Even. Mr. Lefebvre lived in Rougemont with our founder, Louis Even, from 1962 until Mr. Even's death in 1974. He admired him and even considered him worthy of sainthood (see page 6). The writings of Louis Even on the solution necessary to repair the broken financial system remain illuminating and relevant even today, and that is why we happily reproduce his essays in each issue of MICHAEL, including this one (Render to Caesar).
We are on earth only briefly. For Mr. Lefebvre, his time ended January 12th. His quick and sudden death surprised us and should provide us all an opportunity to reflect on what awaits us in the afterlife. While not knowing when death will come, we should prepare for it because as the the Gospel says death "will come life a thief". After our time on earth, we will bring neither money nor possessions with us. Only our good deeds and acts of charity toward our neighbours will follow (... good death).
Regardless of life's trials we must not despair because God, for whom nothing is impossible, can use our sufferings for the greater good. As Saint Paul wrote in his Letter to the Romans (8:28), "All things work together for good to them that love God." A striking proof of this is the life of Saint Josephine Bakhita, a religious sister from Africa captured as a slave in her youth (see pages 25 to 29). Jesus and His Mother never abandon us, as is shown in the Apparitions of the Virgin Mary in Ukraine in 1987.
What the International Financiers fear most is personal initiative, since a person can accomplish much when he puts his mind to it. One need only think of Louis Even and Marcel Lefebvre. What would have been the result if they had said no to God's call to work for the triumph of truth and justice in the field of economic and social life? There would have been no MICHAEL Movement in Africa and no movement at all. Let's remember that the Movement was founded to educate the population and create a public opinion strong enough to ensure that politicians served the people and not the financiers. Good reading!