During a mass celebrated today for the upcoming 500 anniversary of the Swiss Guards, Archbishop Foley reminded them that there are martyrs among them, who died defending the Holy Father.
“Everyday, at the gate of the Vatican, you meet hundreds of people of all faiths or no faith. You know well that we are many priests, friars and nuns who work at the Vatican, but the people that go through every day don’t see us but see you. For them, you represent the Pope, the successor of Peter, in fact you represent Jesus,” said Archbishop John Patrick Foley, president of the Pontifical Council for Social Communications in the homily of the mass celebrated today at the Vatican, on the occasion of the 500 anniversary of the Swiss Guard.
"Twenty years after the Guard entered at the service of the Holy Father-he reminded- 147 of you were killed defending the Pontiff from the criminal troops of the emperor Charles V. We can, in some sense recognize them as martyrs, because they gave their lives to defend the successor of Peter.”
Referring to the daily work of the “Army of the Pope,” Foley remarked the cultural pluralism of Switzerland and of the Swiss Guard.
“Consider you work, not only a duty, as it actually is, but an opportunity to reflect the joy and love of Jesus Christ in any action, word and gesture.” So that “not only you defend the Pope but also share the true faith.”