VATICAN CITY, MAY 6, 2010 (Zenit.org).- Benedict XVI today received a visit from the new president of Switzerland, who also attended the swearing-in of 30 Swiss Guards.
Doris Leuthard met with the Pope, and then with his secretary of state, Cardinal Tarcisio Bertone, and the secretary for relations with states, Archbishop Dominique Mamberti.
A Vatican communiqué reported that the president and Pontiff spoke of the swearing-in ceremony, as well as “questions concerning social and economic life and the current international situation, with particular reference to interreligious dialogue.”
At a Mass earlier in the day, Cardinal Bertone noted how the Guard is at the service of the Pope.
“It is a willingness that you, dear Swiss Guards, expressed as Christians, that is, motivated by love of Christ and of the Church,” he said. “That is why we are gathered here in the Eucharistic celebration: to express our gratitude to the Lord for your generosity.”
The secretary of state manifested the affection and gratitude of all those present, while thanking with them Divine Providence who called them, and calls them, to belong to this historic corps.
“For you, dear friends, and for the deceased of the Pontifical Swiss Guard, I offer in a special way this Eucharist, making mine your prayer intentions,” said Cardinal Bertone.
In addition to exhorting them to be faithful to the commitment they were to assume or renew, he invoked from the Lord the help of grace, so that they will persevere in their mission.
The cardinal concluded expressing the hope that the Pope’s gratitude is also a support and incentive for them.
“May the intercession of your holy patrons: St. Martin, St. Sebastian and St. Nicholas of Flue accompany you and assist you,” he said. “And may Mary Most Holy, who guarded the only-begotten Son of God in her womb, help you to be genuine sons of the Church, and protect you in the service to the Successor of Peter.”