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Pope challenges new Swiss Guard recruits to live up to tradition

May 05, 2014

Pope Francis met on May 5 with new recruits to the Swiss Guard, who will be sworn in on May 6.

Commenting on the distinctive uniform of the Vatican unit, which is recognized throughout the world, the Pope remarked that “behind every uniform there is a real person.” He reminded the recruits that “it is not the uniform, but rather he who wears it, who must be noted for his kindness, his spirit of welcome, for his charitable attitude towards all.”

May 6, the date on which new members traditionally take their vows of service, is the anniversary of the day in 1527 when the Swiss Guard successfully defended the Pontiff during the Sack of Rome. Pope Francis observed that the world has changed greatly since that day, when members of the Swiss Guard died in battle. “But man’s heart—his capacity to be loyal and courageous-- acriter et fideliter, as your motto says-- has remained the same,” the Pope said.


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