Catholic World News

New head of Swiss Guard

February 03, 2015

Following a January 31 Mass celebrated by the Vatican’s Secretary of State, the leadership of the Pontifical Swiss Guard passed from Col. Daniel Anrig, commander since 2008, to his deputy commander, Lt. Col. Christoph Graf.

In his homily, Cardinal Pietro Parolin recalled a 16th-century painting that portrays the leader of the Swiss Guard as “a man of faith who is not hesitate to profess Jesus Christ crucified and to serve the Successor of Peter with all his might, accepting the cross of each day.”

Cardinal Parolin then asked the Swiss Guard whether they merely admire the words of Christ or accept him as the Son of God who came to save us. “Let us follow him with all our being,” he said.

The prelate then praised the work of Anrig, who had served out his five-year term and whose strict disciplinary standards were rumored not to be in accord with the Pope’s more informal style. After Cardinal Parolin paid tribute to Anrig’s loyalty, responsibility, sense of sacrifice, and faith, Anrig offered words of gratitude for Pope Benedict and Pope Francis, with whom he had an audience the previous day.


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