05/05/17 - Swearing-in Ceremony of the Swiss Guard

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05/05/17 - Swearing-in Ceremony of the Swiss Guard

Postby Alice » Mon May 08, 2017 11:26 pm

Friday 5 May 2017

Vatican welcomes the great swearing-in ceremony of the Swiss Guards

The Swiss Guard headquarters opens its doors to the press one day a year, and that is for a few hours before the new recruits take their oath. It's a very solemn day in memory of the 147 soldiers who gave their lives to protect the pope in 1527.

CHRISTOPH GRAF
Commander of the Swiss Guard
"We are the smallest army in the world, 110 soldiers. Also the oldest still in service; we have worked since 1506. The difference between us and the others is that we serve the pope, and that is unique."

To enter this army, you must have a Swiss passport, be a practicing Catholic and have a good reputation. Recruits cannot be married and must be under 30 years of age. Before arriving in Rome, they have to undergo training in Switzerland. At the Vatican, one of the most delicate jobs in the world awaits: protecting the pope.

CHRISTOPH GRAF
Commander of the Swiss Guard
"Our army has no airplanes, no cannons, no tanks. But our soldiers are very well prepared to defend the pope. They do not just have the halberd of the uniform of honor. "

Didier Grandjean has been a Swiss Guard for six years. As a child he wanted to serve in this army, which he explains goes far beyond just professional work.

DIDIER GRANDJEAN
Vice Corporal, Pontifical Swiss Guard
"This year there are 40 recruits who will take the solemn oath. In some way, it is the most important day of their lives, because they swear to serve the pope, giving their own life if necessary, so that the pope can exercise his ministry.”

Dylan is one of 40 new recruits. He decided to become a Swiss guard to give a small, but powerful, contribution to the pontificate of Pope Francis.

DYLAN WARROLL
Swiss Guard
"I just felt, OK, a guy like him, we need to protect him, because the duty is really important for us, in my eyes. This is a testimony, this is a moment that you are with God, you take this decision to give your life for pope, not only with your body, but also with your mind.”

Filippo also lives these days with great enthusiasm, and proudly explains what the colors of his uniform symbolize.

FILIPPO INCHES
Swiss Guard
"The colors blue and yellow are the colors of Julius II, the pope who founded the Swiss Guards. Red is the color of the Medici, in memory of Pope Clement VII, who lived during the sack of Rome in 1527. We remember him in the oath because 147 guards died to save him."

The Swiss guards are discreet angels of the pope's protection. They are in charge of monitoring the rooms in which he lives and works. They also accompany him in Rome and on his trips abroad. It is an effective service that they do with Swiss precision.




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Spectacular swearing-in ceremony of the new Swiss Guards

Pope Francis met with forty new Swiss Guard recruits, who came to the Vatican with their families.

It was the anniversary of the day that 147 guards gave their lives to save Pope Clement VII in the year 1527.

POPE FRANCIS
"Today you are not called to this heroic surrender of physical life, but to another sacrifice no less difficult: to serve the power of faith. Faith is a valid barrier to resisting the forces and powers of this earth, and above all to the 'prince of this world', who is the 'father of lies.'"

In the afternoon they took the solemn oath, where they vowed to defend the lives of St. Peter's successsors with their own. It was a spectacular ceremony.

First, one of the officers called each recruit.

The recruit approached the flag and raised three fingers, which served as a symbol of the Holy Trinity. Then, he swore to defend the Pope.

It was an intense ceremony, which included a brief concert by the Swiss Guard's band. A serious army, with a great sense of humor.



Both reports and videos with very kind permission from Rome Reports TV News Agency
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