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Pope Francis

Names of archbishops to receive pallium from Pope Francis

June 28, 2017. On June 29, the Feast of Sts. Peter and Paul, Pope Francis will bless the palliums of the Metropolitan Archbishops. This year, 36 have been appointed. The list is as followed

Vatican comments on situation of missing Chinese Bishop Shao Zhumin

June 26, 2017. Bishop Peter Shao Zhumin, from Wenzhou in Continental China, was taken into custody by Chinese police on Easter weekend 2017. While recognized as a bishop in the Catholic Church, he is an unofficial bishop or "underground” in China, since the Chinese government does not recognize him as religious.
Pope Francis

Pope Francis' complete schedule for Colombia trip

June 23, 2017. He will go to Colombia September 6-11.

Bruno Marie Duffé, new secretary of the Department for Integral Development

June 16, 2017. Thepope has named French priest Bruno Marie Duffé, from Lyon, number two of the Dicastery for Promoting Integral Human Development. He will be in charge of one of the key offices in the Vatican Curia.
Pope Francis

Angela Merkel to meet with pope on June 17

June 9, 2017. The Vatican has confirmed that on Saturday, June 17, German Chancellor Angela Merkel will meet with Pope Francis. Both have previously met in Rome in May 2016, February 2015 and May 2013, two months after Pope Francis was elected pontiff.
Pope Francis

Pope Francis to meet with Venezuelan bishops on June 8

June 5, 2017. Pope Francis will meet with Venezuelan bishops next Thursday to discuss the situation their country is facing.

New secretary of the Dicastery for Laity, Family and Life

May 31, 2017. The Brazilian priest Alexandre Awi Mello, the National Director of Brazil's Schönstatt Movement, will serve as the new secretary. He was born Rio de Janeiro in 1971, and ordained a priest in 2001.

Vatican welcomes the great swearing-in ceremony of the Swiss Guards


The Swiss Guard headquarters opens its doors to the press one day a year, and that is for a few hours before the new recruits take their oath. It's a very solemn day in memory of the 147 soldiers who gave their lives to protect the pope in 1527. 

Commander of the Swiss Guard
"We are the smallest army in the world, 110 soldiers. Also the oldest still in service; we have worked since 1506. The difference between us and the others is that we serve the pope, and that is unique."

To enter this army, you must have a Swiss passport, be a practicing Catholic and have a good reputation. Recruits cannot be married and must be under 30 years of age. Before arriving in Rome, they have to undergo training in Switzerland. At the Vatican, one of the most delicate jobs in the world awaits: protecting the pope.

Commander of the Swiss Guard
"Our army has no airplanes, no cannons, no tanks. But our soldiers are very well prepared to defend the pope. They do not just have the halberd of the uniform of honor. "

Didier Grandjean has been a Swiss Guard for six years. As a child he wanted to serve in this army, which he explains goes far beyond just professional work. 

Vice Corporal, Pontifical Swiss Guard
"This year there are 40 recruits who will take the solemn oath. In some way, it is the most important day of their lives, because they swear to serve the pope, giving their own life if necessary, so that the pope can exercise his ministry.”

Dylan is one of 40 new recruits. He decided to become a Swiss guard to give a small, but powerful, contribution to the pontificate of Pope Francis. 

Swiss Guard
"I just felt, OK, a guy like him, we need to protect him, because the duty is really important for us, in my eyes. This is a testimony, this is a moment that you are with God, you take this decision to give your life for pope, not only with your body, but also with your mind.”

Filippo also lives these days with great enthusiasm, and proudly explains what the colors of his uniform symbolize. 

Swiss Guard
"The colors blue and yellow are the colors of Julius II, the pope who founded the Swiss Guards. Red is the color of the Medici, in memory of Pope Clement VII, who lived during the sack of Rome in 1527. We remember him in the oath because 147 guards died to save him."

The Swiss guards are discreet angels of the pope's protection. They are in charge of monitoring the rooms in which he lives and works. They also accompany him in Rome and on his trips abroad. It is an effective service that they do with Swiss precision.

- PR