Pope encourages new Swiss Guards to grow closer to Christ and the Church
CWN - May 07, 2012
Pope Benedict XVI met on May 6 with newly pledged recruits to the Swiss Guard, and encouraged them to “take advantage of the time you spend in Rome to develop your friendship with Christ, to increase your love for His Church and to advance towards the goal of each true Christian life: sanctity.”
New members of the Swiss Guard are traditionally sworn in on May 6, the anniversary of the date in 1527 when 147 members of the renowned unit died in a successful defense of Pope Clement VII. After the swearing-in ceremony the Pope met with the new recruits and their family members.
The Holy Father said that it is “heartening” that young men continue to commit years of their lives to defending the Pope. That work, he said, can be done properly only by those who show “firm Catholic faith; faithfulness and love for the Church of Jesus Christ; diligence and perseverance in everyday tasks, the great and the small; courage and humility; altruism and willingness.” Through the years, the Pope continued, the members of the Swiss Guard who display those qualities have distinguished themselves—not only during their years of service at the Vatican, but also later in life, as priests, as married men, and as loyal Catholics.
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