Swiss Guard to Swear in 34 Recruits

VATICAN CITY, MAY 5, 2011 ( Nearly three dozen new recruits will be sworn into the Pontifical Swiss Guard on Friday.

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At a 5 p.m. ceremony in the San Damaso Courtyard of the Vatican Apostolic Palace, 34 new recruits will be welcomed to the ancient force that protects the Pope.

Members of the Roman Curia, diplomatic representatives, and civil and religious authorities from Switzerland will attend the swearing-in.

Benedict XVI’s secretary of state, Cardinal Tarcisio Bertone, will begin the day for the new recruits with a 7:30 a.m. Mass.

At 9 a.m., Daniel Rudolf Anrig, commander of the Swiss Guard, will place a laurel wreath at the monument in the courtyard of the Swiss Guard barracks commemorating the 147 members of the corps who lost their lives protecting Pope Clement VII from the troops of Emperor Charles V during the Sack of Rome on May 6, 1527.

That anniversary is the reason the swearing-in ceremony is held every year on that date.

Archbishop Fernando Filoni, substitute of general affairs of the Secretariat of State, will then confer military decorations on certain members of the Guard.

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