The Third Order of the Society of St. Pius X was
established in 1980 by Archbishop Lefebvre to "secure for souls living
in the world a school of sanctity." The purpose of the Third Order
is the sanctification of the souls of its members and of those souls for
whom its members are responsible.
St. Pius X emphasized the absolute necessity of a laity that is "virtuous,
enlightened, determined, and really apostolic" in order to save modern
society. The Third Order provides a means for the faithful to realize
By following the Rule of the Third Order, members are able to structure
their spiritual lives in a practical way, and thus to sanctify themselves.
In a world of spiritual chaos, spiritual discipline is essential for souls
who seek eternal happiness. The Rule acts as a guide to the members of
the Third Order, aiding them in the fight against the world, the flesh,
and the devil. It is a practical Rule, requiring no more than what the
good Catholic should do to save his soul.
As a spiritual organization, the Third Order is open to men and women
alike. The spirit of its members is one of generosity, loyalty to the
ideals of the Society and her priests, and supportive of the pastors who
have charge over them. The primary focus of the spiritual life of Third
Order members is the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass and its mysteries, where
the meaning and source of Christian life - a life of sacrifice and co-redemption
- is found. A tender and filial devotion to Our Lady and to St. Joseph
is cultivated in the hearts of Third Order members and reflected in their
By joining the Third Order of the Society of St. Pius X, the faithful
avail themselves of the graces that flow from the work of the Society's
priests and religious, and from the prayers and sacrifices of fellow members.