New Guard Sworn In

Today, in Vatican City, a new group of Swiss Guard were sworn in to service to the Holy Father. The history of the Swiss Guard is very interesting, and I don’t have the time right now to elaborate on it. Perhaps another time….

What I want to bring to your attention is the Holy Father’s words to the new recruits. I am translating from the official Italian translation of the German original.

He said, in part:

“The present day is an occasion to turn attention to the glorious past of the Pontifical Swiss Guard. I am thinking in particular of the event — remembered many times because it is the foundation of your history — of the famous ‘Sack of Rome’ that saw the Swiss Guard engaged in the vigorous defense of the Pope, in the end giving their lives for him. The memory of this earthly plundering ought to bring to mind that there exists a today a threat more dangerous, which we might define spiritual threat. In the present social context many youth risk, in fact, falling into a progressive spiritual impoverishment since they follow ideals and views of a superficial life, that are filled only with material needs and demands. Live in such a way that your stay in Rome may constitute a favorable time to better take advantage of the many possibilities that this city offers you to always give a more solid and profound sense to your life. This city is rich in history, in culture and in faith; make use, then, of the opportunities that are given you to increase your horizons, culturally, linguistically and above all, spiritually.”

The city of Rome is in fact a city of contrasts. It is so rich in history, faith and culture, yet it is also a city, like so many other major cities in the world, that is very worldly.

If Hans, the Swiss Guard commander from the 1970s may happen to stumble upon this blog, I extend a warm “hello!” I recall you well from my days in Rome and your coming to the North American College for soccer.

God bless the Guard in their service to the Holy Father.

About Deacon Bob

Moderator: Deacon Bob Yerhot of the Diocese of Winona-Rochester, Minnesota.
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