VATICAN CITY, MAY 7, 2010 (Zenit.org).- Benedict XVI urged the newest members of the Papal Swiss Guard, who were sworn in Thursday, to carry out their work with universal charity.
The Pope received the new recruits and their families in an audience today in Clementina Hall, together with the rest of the Swiss Guard. He addressed the group in German, Italian and French, which are the three official languages of Switzerland.
“You can be proud, with reason, given that by the oath you have just taken, you have joined a Corps of the Guard with a long history,” the Holy Father said. “No sooner you don the familiar uniform, than you are immediately recognized by everyone as a Swiss Guard, and thus you are recognized and respected.”
“The Successor of Peter sees in you a true support and entrusts to you his safeguarding,” he continued. “It is my sincere desire that through your service in the Guard you will maintain the legacy received from your predecessors and that it will make you mature as men and as Christians.”
Benedict XVI reminded the military corps that the Pontifical Swiss Guard is associated with the “service of Peter in the Church.” He urged: “From today on, in your meditation on the Word of God, I invite you to pay much attention to the Apostle Peter when he, after the Resurrection of Christ, commits himself to fulfill the mission that the Lord entrusted to him.”
“With the Successor of Peter, the charity that animates your soul must be universal,” he added. “Your heart is called to enlarge itself. Your service will inspire you to discover in the face of everyone a pilgrim that, on his journey, hopes to meet another face through which he is given a living sign of the Lord, owner of the whole of life and of all graces.”
The Holy Father said that serving as a Swiss Guard will give the young men “a more living sense of catholicity, together with a more profound perception of the dignity of the man who passes next to you and who seeks in his innermost self the path of eternal life.”
“Lived with professional awareness and a supernatural sense,” he continued, “your duty will prepare you also for future commitments, personal and public, which you will undertake when you leave this service, and which will enable you to assume them as true disciples of the Lord.”
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