Vatican City, May 6, 2020 / 10:47 am America/Denver (CNA).
The annual swearing-in of new Swiss Guards, which would usually take place May 6, was moved to Oct. 4 because of the coronavirus.
Instead, the Pontifical Swiss Guards marked Wednesday’s anniversary of the Sack of Rome with private, more muted celebrations, lacking the presence of guests and streamed over the internet.
The Swiss Guards marked the 493rd anniversary of the May 6, 1527 battle with Mass in the church of Santa Maria of the Pieta in the Teutonic College, followed by the “laying of the wreath,” in the Square of the Roman Protomartyrs in Vatican City.
Afterward, the commander of the Swiss Guards conferred papal honorifics on 15 guards.
After Mass, all but the newest members of the world’s smallest-but-oldest standing army marched to Square of the Roman Protomartyrs, so-named for being the site of the death of several early Christian martyrs, including St. Peter.