Swiss Guard welcomes 30 new members to elite force
Swiss Guards in Vatican City.
Swiss Guards in Vatican City.

.- The Pontifical Swiss Guard swore in 30 new recruits during a ceremony on an overcast Thursday evening at the Vatican. The event also commemorated the 147 guards who died defending the Pope during the Sack of Rome in 1527.

Gathering at 5 p.m. in the San Damaso courtyard under the threat of rain, the Swiss Guard held its annual swearing-in ceremony. Vatican Radio reported on Thursday that the 30 new “halberdiers” who enlisted in the last 12 months made their final vows during the ceremony. As part of the ritual, the new recruits lined up and raised three fingers in the air – a traditional sign of oath to the corps. 

On Thursday morning, the guard, their families and friends attended a special Mass in St. Peter’s Basilica, which was presided over by Cardinal Tarcisio Bertone, the Vatican's Secretary of State.

“The Pontifical Swiss Guard is characterized by the willingness of its members to place themselves in service of the Supreme Pontiff, to provide for the particular care of His person,” Cardinal Bertone said at Mass earlier in the day. This willingness, added the prelate, is something that “you – dear Swiss Guards – have expressed as Christians, that is, motivated by love for Christ and for the Church.”

“For this we are gathered here in the Eucharistic celebration: to pronounce our thanks to the Lord for your generosity.”

“Yours, dear friends of the Swiss Guard, is a skilled and appreciated service, that demands dedication and seriousness,” Cardinal Bertone said. “Being Swiss Guards means always adhering without reservation to Christ and the Church, with the willingness to spend every day of your life for this noble mission.”

The Swiss Guard is an elite force charged throughout the centuries with the task of safeguarding the Pope. The recruits, per guard requirements, must be between 19 and 30 years old, faithful Roman Catholics and Swiss citizens. Guardsmen commit to serving a minimum of 25 months, after which they can chose to leave or be promoted to sergeant.

Among those present at this year's swearing-in ceremony were Doris Leuthard, president of the Swiss Confederation, and Peter Stutz, chief-of-staff, who represented the Swiss army. Also participating as guests of honor was the council of the Canton of San Gallen.

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 (What's this?)

Featured Videos

Pope Francis celebrates the closing Mass and announces site of next World Youth Day
Pope Francis celebrates the closing Mass and announces site of next World Youth Day
Pope Francis visits poor neighborhood and meets with young people from Argentina
Pope Francis celebrates Mass at the National Shrine of Our Lady of Aparecida
Denver rally draws hundreds in support of religious freedom
Pope Francis prays over a sick man in St Peter's Square
Denver women's clinic will offer natural, Catholic care
Interview Clips: Barbara Nicolosi speaks to CNA
US Cardinals press conference at North American College
Pope Benedict to retire to monastery inside Vatican City
Pope cites waning strength as reason for resignation
Hundreds convene in Denver to urge respect for life
New Orange bishop encourages Catholic unity in diversity
Chinese pro-life activist calls for reform, international attention
At Lincoln installation, Bishop Conley says holiness is success
Mother Cabrini shrine reopens in Chicago after a decade
Ordination of 33 deacons fills St. Peter's with joy
Cardinal says "Charity is the mother of all the virtues"
Augustine Institute expands evangelization effort with new campus
Bishops recall 'Way of St. James' as chance to trust in God
Los Angeles cathedral's newest chapel houses Guadalupe relic

Liturgical Calendar

April 19, 2014

Holy Saturday

All readings:
Today »
This year »

Catholic Daily

Gospel of the Day

Mt 28:1-10


Daily Readings

First Reading:: Gen 1:1-2:2
Gospel:: Mt 28:1-10

Saint of the Day

Blessed James Oldo »


Homily of the Day

Mt 28:1-10


Ads by AdsLiveMedia.com

Ads by AdsLiveMedia.com
Text only

Follow us: