Pope Francis on May 4, 2019, received the new Swiss guards who will take their oath of office on May 6. Accompanied by their families, the guards met with the Holy Father in the Sala Clementina of the Vatican Apostolic Palace.
“I am pleased to welcome you and to address a cordial greeting to each one of you, your family, your friends, the Authorities and those who have wished to take part in these days of celebration,” Pope Francis said. “To all of you, dear Guards, I renew my most sincere thanks for your precious and generous service to the Pope and the Church. Every day I can personally experience the dedication, professionalism and love with which you carry out your business. And thank you for this! I especially thank your families, who have kindly accepted your choice to live this service in the Vatican and support you with their affection and their prayer.”
The oath-taking takes place every year on May 6, in memory of the heroic sacrifice of the 147 Swiss Guards that, during the Sack of Rome in 1527, saved Pope Clement VII’s life at the price of their own.
On each anniversary, a Swiss canton is the guest of honor of the ceremony. This year, it’s Tessin, with which the armed corps has special links: each recruit school follows a one-month formation at the Tessin Canton police in Isone, where formation in security is also organized for the most experienced guards. Three guards of the canton will take the oath this year.