What's this? / Report Bad Ads
Latest News
Vatican

Pope Francis advances eight new causes of sainthood

January 23, 2017. On January 20, Pope Francis met with Cardinal Angelo Amato, the prefect for the Congregation for the Causes of Saints to announce the publication of decrees for the advancement of eight causes of sainthood.
Vatican

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.
World

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.
Vatican

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.
Vatican

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.

New Swiss Guards take an oath to protect the Pope

2014-05-07

This is a special day at the Vatican. Every year, on the first week of May this oath is heard throughout the Holy See. 

"...I promise to serve faithfully, loyally and honorably in all that's asked of me. May God and His Saints help me."

Each one of the 30 new guards, takes a hold of their military flag with their left hand. With their right, they raise three fingers, which symbolizes the Holy Trinity. Before Vatican officials, their family and God, they promise to protect the Pope and his legitimate successors at all costs. 

This happens every May 6th. That same day back in 1527, a total of 147 soldiers died protecting Pope Clement VII. He was able to escape the attack through the famous corridor that connects the Vatican to Castel Sant' Angelo. 

Of course, now times are different, but over the years, the Swiss Guard has become a symbol of the Vatican. To thank them for their service, Pope Francis met the new guards. 

POPE FRANCIS
"Your service is an authentic testimony, because it shows, in a concrete way, the will to dedicate yourself to something important and demanding. You made this decision with the help of your families and the communities that have educated you. I want to thank them as well.” 

As a gift, they gave the Pope a Swiss Army knife, which has become a symbol of their country. 

They're recognized across the world, but it's not easy to become a Swiss Guard. First, the soldiers must be Swiss, single, practicing Catholics, be at least 5.8 feet tall and  between 18 and 30 years of age. 

JEAN LAUNAY 
Swiss Guard
"First and foremost the Swiss Guard is in charge of protecting the Pope. This includes his residence and all the offices or sites he visits.” 

DANIEL ANRIG
Pontifical Swiss Guard, Colonel 
"Having to switch from the Apostolic Palace to Casa Santa Marta  was a big change for the Swiss Guard. But this is what we've done for the past 500 years. Our main responsibility is protecting the Pope and his residence.” 

As a Colonel of the Swiss Guard, Daniel Anrig is the head of the military. He's part of the Pontifical Family Household, which basically means that wherever Pope Francis goes, he goes. 

Currently the Swiss Guard has 110 soldiers. Aside from being the world's smallest army, at 508 years old,  it's also one of the oldest. 

The flashy uniforms are definitely eye catching. But in their meeting with Pope Francis, he asked the new soldiers to have their personalities and big heart stand out even more than those colors. Especially, when they welcome people to the Vatican. 


JMB-KLH
CTV/MG
FA/VM
- PR
Up:  YJA