36 new Swiss Guards take solemn oath to protect the pope at swearing in ceremony

While the Vatican has its own police force, the Swiss Guard are solely responsible for protecting the pope.

36 new members of the Pontifical Swiss Guard marched into the Paul VI Audience Hall in the Vatican to take the solemn oath to protect and defend the pope and his legitimate successors.

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During the ceremony, each new recruit places their left hand on the Swiss Guard flag and raises their right hand, extending three fingers symbolizing the Holy Trinity, before taking their oath.

Earlier in the day, the new recruits and their families met with Pope Francis, who thanked them for their service and reminded them of their unique role.

POPE FRANCIS
You have chosen to dedicate yourselves to an exquisitely ecclesial task; I urge you to live it as a Christian and communal witness.

The swearing-in ceremony takes place each May 6t h to commemorate the 147 Swiss mercenaries who gave their lives defending Pope Clement VII during the sack of Rome in 1527.

While the Vatican has its own police force, the Swiss Guard are solely responsible for protecting the pope. It’s a task they don’t take lightly.

MICHEL STASZEWICZ
Swiss Guard
Very proud, obviously, but we do sense how much responsibility we take on our shoulders seeing how many people come to see us, admire what we do.

These new recruits have committed to serve the Pope for at least 26 months. By then, the Vatican hopes to begin construction on a new Swiss Guard barracks which would accommodate women if Pope Francis or his successors chose to include them in the force.

Romereports.com

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