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Pope to Swiss Guards: 'Grow as 'Brave Soldiers' of Christ'

Says 1st Concern Ought to Be Generous Christian Witness and Holiness of Life

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 Grow as brave soldiers of Christ, and be holy.
This was advice given by Pope Francis on the day the new recruits of the Swiss Guard took their oath, May 6, 2017. Francis received the Corps of the Pontifical Swiss Guard, accompanied by their families in the Vatican, to “extend a cordial greeting especially to the new recruits, who have chosen to dedicate years of their youth to the service of the Successor of Peter.”
He indicated that during the oath, they will remember the painful and at the same time famous “Sack of Rome,” in which the Swiss Guards distinguished themselves in courageous and indomitable defense of the Pope, to the point of sacrificing their lives.
“Today, you are not called to this heroic offer of physical life, but to another no less arduous sacrifice: to serve the power of faith,” the Pope said. “This is a valid barrier for resisting the various forces and powers of this earth and, above all, he who is ‘the prince of this world,’ the ‘father of lies’ who ‘prowls around like a roaring lion, seeking someone to devour,’ according to the words of the apostle Peter (1 Peter 5:8).”
Reminding the new recruits they are to be strong and brave and supported by faith in Christ and by His word of salvation, Francis said: Your presence in the Church, your important service in the Vatican, is an opportunity to grow as brave ‘soldiers of Christ.'”
“The pilgrims and tourists who have the chance to meet you,” Francis also pointed out, “are edified by discovering in you, together with the characteristics of composure, precision and professional seriousness, also generous Christian witness and holiness of life.”
“Let this be your first concern,” he said, as he invited them to “support each other to lead an exemplary Christian life, which is motivated and supported by faith.”
Addressing the recruits, he indicated that being committed to the Gospel “passes through small daily gestures” to which “it is necessary to give it an always new meaning.”

He also invited them “in this season of your life” to “walk through Rome in the footsteps of the many saints who have lived in this city. And thus, will your Roman period be even more unforgettable and rich in fruits. ”

The Successor of Peter took the opportunity to thank the entire body of the Swiss Guard “for the diligence and solicitude with which they perform their valuable activity in the service of the Pope and the State of the Vatican City.”

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Deborah Castellano Lubov

Deborah Castellano Lubov is Senior Vatican & Rome Correspondent for ZENIT; author of 'The Other Francis' ('L'Altro Francesco') featuring interviews with those closest to the Pope and preface by Vatican Secretary of State Cardinal Parolin (currently published in 5 languages); Deborah is also NBC & MSNBC Vatican Analyst. She often covers the Pope's travels abroad, often from the Papal Flight (including for historic trips such as to Abu Dhabi and Japan & Thailand), and has also asked him questions on the return-flight press conference on behalf of the English-speaking press present. Lubov has done much TV & radio commentary, including for NBC, Sky, EWTN, BBC, Vatican Radio, AP, Reuters and more. She also has contributed to various books on the Pope and has written for various Catholic publications. For 'The Other Francis': or

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