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Pope Francis greets new Swiss Guard recruits

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Pope Francis greets new Swiss Guard recruits

Ahead of the October 4th Swiss Guard swearing-in ceremony, Pope Francis on Friday receives 38 new members of the Corps, telling them the oath they will take is also “a declaration of fidelity to your baptismal vocation.”

By Vatican News

Receiving the new recruits, who have chosen to dedicate “a period of their youth in the service of the Successor of Peter,” the Pope on Friday emphasized the crucial role of the family in the transmission of the faith. “The presence of your family members expresses the devotion of Swiss Catholics to the Holy See, as well as the moral education and good example by which parents have passed on to their children the Christian faith and the sense of generous service to their neighbour,” he said.

Pope Francis also took the opportunity to recall the “illustrious past” of the Pontifical Swiss Guard Corps. He told them his thoughts turned in particular to the “Sack of Rome,” which saw the Swiss Guards courageously defend the Pope, to the point of giving their lives.

“The memory of that event,” he said, “may evoke in you the danger of a spiritual ‘plundering’.”

“In today’s social context,” the Pope continued, “many young people run the risk of being stripped of their souls, when they follow ideals and lifestyles that respond only to material desires or needs.”

Swiss Guards and Rome

Pope Francis expressed the hope that the new recruits would make the most of all the positive things the city of Rome has to offer. “It is rich in history, culture and faith; therefore, take advantage of the opportunities offered to you to enhance your cultural, linguistic and spiritual background,” he said.

“The time you will spend here is a unique moment in your life,” the Pope commented.  “May you live it in a spirit of fraternity, helping one another to lead a meaningful and joyfully Christian life.”

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