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Holy See confirms investigation of Order of Malta

January 17, 2017. The Holy See has issued a statement Tuesday in response to "attempts by the Order of Malta to discredit” the new group established by the Vatican to conduct the investigation of why the Chancellor of the Order of Malta was asked to step down.

Pope sends condolences for victims of Turkish cargo jet crash

January 16, 2017. On Monday morning, a Turkish cargo plane has tragically crashed in Kyrgyzstan, killing dozens and hospitalizing many others. Many homes and vehicles in the small village are also destroyed. As a result, Vatican Secretary of State, Pietro Parolin has sent a message of condolences to the victims of the disaster on behalf of Pope Francis.

Pope Francis to meet with Palestinian president on Saturday

January 11, 2017. Pope Francis will meet with Palestinian president, Mahmud Abbas on Saturday, January 14, at the Vatican to inaugurate the new Palestinian embassy to the Holy See.

Former Director of the Vatican's school for diplomats, Justo Mullor dies

December 30, 2016. The smiling archbishop Justo Mullor died this morning in Rome, at the Pío XI Clinic. He was 84 years old.

Pope's Army: New Swiss Guard recruits take their oath


The army has about 110 members. This year, 35 new recruits were sworn in. The ceremony made it official, but they had actually been in Rome training, during the Sede Vacante and Conclave period.

Swiss Guard Chaplain

"They directly experienced the conclave. It was a type of grace and a very intense preparation  for them. Living those moments when the Church feels the presence of the Holy Spirit, as cardinals elect the Head of the Church. They lived those moments directly and that gave way to a lot of questions that in a way prepared them for their new oath and loyalty to the Pope.”

Because of the rainy weather, this year the ceremony took place indoors, at the Vaticans Paul VI Hall. Usually, it takes place in St. Peter's Square.

As part of the ceremony, each new recruit grabs the Swiss Guard flag with one hand and with the other, they lift three fingers, which represents the Trinity. They promise to defend the Pope and his legitimate successors at all costs, even their own life. Speaking in their native language, they ask God and their patron saints for help.

Among the guests were Archbishop Angelo Becciu, from the Vatican's Secretariat of State. The president of the Swiss Confederation, Ueli Maurer was also seated in the front row. Of course, the proud family members of the new guards were there as well to cheer them on.

Family Member

"Today was great. It  has been a long preparation, we've been expecting this day for months.  Everyday we were thinking what are we going to do, what are we going to wear, is the weather going to be nice? How are the boys going to take the oath, how it going to be? This is a big honor, a privilege for our family we are very proud to be Swiss.”

So for at least two years, the new soldiers will be part of the smallest army in the world, with just about 110 members. It may be the smallest army, but it's also the most colorful and historic.