Twenty-three Pontifical Swiss Guards will take the oath on May 6, 2019 in the Vatican, stated a press release of the Swiss Guard, published on April 30.
The oath taking takes place every year on this date, 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.
According to the official program, on May 5 a concert of the “Orchestra of the Winds” of Italian Switzerland will be held for the guards’ families in the Courtyard of Honor of the Swiss district, before Vespers at 5:00 pm in the church of Santa Maria della Pieta in Campo Santo Teutonico and the laying of the wreath in honor of the deceased of May 6, 1527 in the Square of the Roman Proto-Martyrs. Taking place also on this occasion is the presentation of decorations to worthy guards. The day will end with a gala dinner with Vatican Authorities.
The following day, May 6, Cardinal Angelo Comastri, the Pope’s Vicar for Vatican City State, will celebrate Mass at 7:30 am at the altar of the Chair of Saint Peter, in the Vatican Basilica. The oath taking, that the young recruits carry out on the Guard’s flag is scheduled for 5:00 pm in San Damaso Courtyard, in the presence of the Secretary of State, Monsignor Paolo Borgia and the Prefect of the Papal Household, Monsignor Georg Ganswein.
Federal Counsellor Ignazio Cassis; the President of the National Council, Marina Carobbio, and the President of the Council of States, Jean Rene Fournier will represent the Swiss Authorities. Other representatives of the Church in Switzerland, of the Swiss Army — the Commandant of the Corps Philippe Rebord, Head of the Army — and of the Tessin canton, will also be present.
Finally, at 6:30 pm, the Swiss Guards and guests will enjoy an aperitif in the atrium of Paul VI Hall.