Pope meeting with the Swiss Guards Pope meeting with the Swiss Guards  (Vatican Media)

Pope to Swiss Guards: Your service is a testimony of your faith

Pope Francis greets the officers and members of the Pontifical Swiss Guards, and encourages the new recruits to use their period of service at the Vatican to deepen their Catholic faith.

By Lisa Zengarini


Pope Francis received in audience the Swiss Guards on Saturday as they prepare for the traditional swearing-in ceremony of the new recruits which takes place every year on May 6.  

The day marks the anniversary of the heroic sacrifice of 147 Swiss guards who died during the Sack of Rome in 1527 as they protected Pope Clement VII.

Extending his greetings to the Commander of the Swiss Guards, Colonel Christoph Graf, the Chaplain, Fr Kolumban Reichlin, all the Officers and other members of the Corps, Pope Francis acknowledged, in particular, the 23 new recruits who will swear in this afternoon at the Courtyard of Saint Damasus in the Vatican, with their families.

Pope with the Swiss Guards in the Clementine Hall in the vatican
Pope with the Swiss Guards in the Clementine Hall in the vatican

A big family

Noting that the Pontifical Swiss Guard “is a large family”, in which  “young people are enriched by the experience of older people who, in turn, can be edified and learn from the openness of young people”, the Pope invited the new recruits “not lose the courage and passion to discover new things”.

Faith and service to the Pope

He further encouraged them to make “good use of the time” of service at the Vatican to deepen and put into practice the Catholic faith they have received from their families, through reading the Scriptures, meditating on spiritual texts , participating  the Sunday Eucharist and taking the Sacraments.

“Every situation, every meeting can represent an opportunity to put the Gospel of Christ into practice, to learn from him and to live fraternal love in his name and with his Spirit”, the Pope said.

“Your mission here in the Vatican is a path that the Lord has opened for you to live your Baptism and bear joyful witness to your faith in Christ. You have learned this faith in the family, cultivated it in the parish showing the intensity of the bond of Swiss Catholics to the Church of Rome.”

Unwavering gratitude

Concluding, the Holy Father renewed his gratitude to the entire Corps for its “diligent and generous collaboration” and entrusted all those present and the Swiss people to the maternal protection of the Virgin Mary and the Patron Saint Nicholas of Flüe.


Thank you for reading our article. You can keep up-to-date by subscribing to our daily newsletter. Just click here

06 May 2023, 11:32