Pope thanks Roman group for service at Vatican
June 24, 2013
Pope Francis met on June 23 with members of the Association of Sts. Peter and Paul, and thanked them for their “behind the scenes” work at the Vatican.
The Association of Sts. Peter and Paul was created in 1970 to replace the Palatine Guard of Honor at the Vatican. Pope Paul VI, who abolished many of the traditional displays of official pomp at the Vatican, asked the new group to assist pilgrims at St. Peter’s basilica, serve in various roles during papal liturgies, and provide charitable support for the needy in Rome. Pope Francis thanked the group especially for their charitable work: “Serving without asking anything in exchange, like Jesus.” The meeting occurred as rumors circulated in Rome that Pope Francis might abolish the “Gentlemen of His Holiness,” another group traditionally associated with the nobility of Rome. The “Gentlemen” serve as ceremonial escorts to dignitaries meeting with the Holy Father.
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