Vatican City, May 6, 2013 / 10:55 am
On the day that it will swear in 35 new members and commemorate the fallen, the Swiss Guard was told by Pope Francis that it has "a privileged opportunity" to deepen its knowledge of Christ by breathing in the catholicity of the Church.
Every May 6, the corps remembers the 147 Swiss soldiers who died defending Pope Clement VII during the 1527 Sack of Rome. In addition, the Swiss Guard also swears in new members for two years of service at the Vatican.
In anticipation of the new recruits joining the corps, the Pope received them and their families in an audience today at 12:45 p.m.
"Today," he began, "you are not called to this heroic gesture but to another form of sacrifice, which is also challenging: to put your youthful energies at the service of the Church and the Pope. To do this you must be strong, motivated by love, and sustained by your faith in Christ."