New Swiss Guard to be sworn in historic ceremony
Facebook Twitter Google+ Pinterest Addthis

.- The Vatican has announced that thirty-one new recruits of the Pontifical Swiss Guard will take their official oath to guard and defend the Pope in a historic ceremony on May 6th.

The event will be held in the San Damaso Courtyard of the Apostolic Palace in Vatican City.

Members of the Roman Curia, diplomatic representatives and civil and religious authorities from Switzerland, as well as family, friends and the close-knit community of Swiss Guard Alumnae will all be present. 

Twenty-five of the recruits will take their oath in German, four in French, one in Italian and one in Romansch, likewise, all will be in full dress uniform for the day.

The history of the Pontifical Swiss Guard is a rich one. Founded by Pope Julius II in 1506, the guard is directly dependant on the Holy See, and its main duties were to guard the person of the Roman Pontiff and the Apostolic Palaces. 

The date of May 6 is the traditional date for the swearing-in ceremony because on that date in 1527, 147 members of the 189-member Swiss Guards lost their lives during the Sack of Rome when they fell in battle, protecting Pope Clement VII and the Church from the onslaught of the troops of Emperor Charles V.

This year’s ceremony will begin at 7:30 a.m. with Mass in St. Peter's Basilica for the Swiss Guards and their family members and friends. At 9 a.m., Archbishop Leonardo Sandri will confer military decorations on members of the corps, and fallen members of the guard will be honored as the commander of the guards places a laurel wreath at a special monument to them.

The formal oath will then be read by the Swiss Guard chaplain, which says, "I swear to faithfully, loyally and honorably serve the Supreme Pontiff Benedict XVI and his legitimate successors, and also dedicate myself to them with all my strength, sacrificing if necessary also my life to defend them.”

“I assume”, it continues, “this same commitment with regard to the Sacred College of Cardinals whenever the See is vacant. Furthermore I promise to the Commanding Captain and my other superiors respect, fidelity and obedience. This I swear! May God and our Holy Patrons assist me."

The recruits will each then, be called by name and, in his native tongue, confirm the oath.

The patron saints of the Pontifical Swiss Guards are St. Martin, St. Sebastian and St. Niklaus von Flue, known as “defender of the peace and father of the Country."

Requirements to become a member of the Guard include being a Swiss Catholic male under the age of 30.

Likewise, they must be unmarried, over 174 cm (5' 8") in height and have obtained a professional diploma or high school degree. The candidate must also have attended Swiss military school.

The guards, who live inside Vatican City, are required to fulfill a minimum term of service of two years.

Ads by AdsLiveMedia(What's this?)

* The number of messages that can be online is limited. CNA reserves the right to edit messages for content and tone. Comments and opinions expressed by users do not necessarily reflect the opinions or beliefs of CNA. CNA will not publish comments with abusive language, insults or links to other pages


Ads by Google (What's this?)
Ads by Google

Featured Videos

Little Sisters of the Poor press conference in Denver
Little Sisters of the Poor press conference in Denver
Family thrilled to see Pope Francis in Istanbul
Syrian Refugee, Sara, 14, Before Meeting Pope
Ebola orphans thousands of children in West Africa
One year after Haiyan: Philippines rebuilds homes, lives
An Indian contribution to the Vatican's Synod on the Family
Christ Cathedral CNA video Sept 2014
Alejandro Bermudez of CNA accepts ice bucket challenge
'The Real Albania,' remembering those who fled
Pope Francis in Albania, "one of the most important visits of the post-communist era in Albania"
Pope Francis greets paralyzed man who risked all to see him
Franciscans on the banks of the Tiber in Rome, working for the New Evangelization
Pilgrimage from Czech Republic to Assisi and Rome for intentions
Testimony of young Indian who met Pope in Korea
Preparations of the Closing Mass of 6th Asian Youth Day
Missionary of Charity, Korea
Testimony of Christian Love during Pope's Visit to Korea
Religious Sisters in South Korea react to Pope Francis kissing a baby
Warm atmosphere during Holy Mass at Daejeon World Cup Stadium
Images inside Pope Francis flight to South Korea

Liturgical Calendar

December 20, 2014

Advent Weekday

All readings:
Today »
This year »

Catholic Daily

Gospel of the Day

Mt 21:23-27


Daily Readings

First Reading:: Judg 13: 2-7, 24-25A
Gospel:: Lk 1: 5-25

Saint of the Day

St. Romuald »


Homily of the Day

Mt 21:23-27