Pope Francis received the Swiss Guards at the Vatican Apostolic Palace on the occasion of the swearing-in of 23 new recruits. “I thank the entire Corps for the careful and generous cooperation that I experience every day,” said the Holy Father.
“The Swiss Guard is a big family and a lively and fraternal community, both in moments of service and in non-working hours. And just as the family is a place of growth where you learn many useful things for life, so it is a formative environment,” the Pope said to the new Guards, officers, non-commissioned officers and all members of the corps and their families. Human and Christian for all.
The Pope said: “Every situation and every meeting can be an opportunity to apply the Gospel of Christ, to learn from the Lord and to live brotherly love in His name and in His Spirit.” On Saturday morning, the Legion attended a mass in St. Peter’s Basilica celebrated by Cardinal Kurt Koch, President of the Dicastery for Promoting Christian Unity, also Swiss.
Every year on May 6, new guards are sworn in – in memory of the 147 Swiss guards killed that day in 1527 when German and Spanish mercenaries sacked Rome. The new members then begin their term of service of at least 26 months. During this time they are citizens of the Vatican State.
The main function of the Guard is to monitor the safety of the person and the residence of the leader of the Catholic Church. In addition, guards accompany the Pope on his travels, control entrances to the Vatican State, and perform security and honorary services.
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