I was trained by the Sulpicians in the spirituality of the French School, inspired by Jean-Jacques Olier, Cardinal de Bérulle and other priests of the seventeenth century, and I remained deeply marked. These priests had a very strong Christology, in other words they contemplated Christ both in his humanity and in his divinity. They rediscovered the priesthood of Jesus Christ from within. Until then, the vocations were not brilliant, nor the formation. Olier and Berulle restored order by deepening the notion of priesthood: a priesthood founded on a vision of the “total Christ”, true God and true man, whose unique priesthood tightly binds one nature with the other, a priesthood made of piety towards the person of Jesus, a priesthood modeled on the formula “sacerdos alter Christus” (the priest is another Christ); a priesthood of confrontation, of closer adjustment to the imitation and resemblance of the unique priesthood of Christ. Jesus needs this substitution in us to continue his unique priesthood. This is the secret of the Catholic priesthood.
Conference given by Monsignor Jean-François Guérin, Saturday, November 10, 2001, at the Sacred Heart of Montmartre, on the occasion of the twenty-fifth anniversary celebrations of the Saint-Martin Community.