2012-05-07 Vatican RadioPope Benedict on Monday received in audience members of the Pontifical Swiss Guard with their families. The meeting with the Holy Father comes after a ceremony on Sunday when 26 new recruits swore loyalty to Pope Benedict and his successors. The swearing in ceremony takes place each year on May 6, the anniversary of Sack of Rome in 1527, when 147 Swiss Guards gave their lives to defend Pope Clement VII.
In his address to the Swiss Guard, Pope Benedict welcomed the new recruits, and reminded them of the special qualities that characterize members of the Corps: a strong Catholic faith; loyalty and love for the Church of Jesus Christ; diligence and perseverance in their regular duties; courage and humility, selflessness and a willingness to help others.
The Holy Father urged the Guards to support one another, and to foster evangelical charity towards the people they meet each day, reminding them that call to love of neighbour is related to the commandment to love God. To truly love others, he said, “it is necessary to tap into the furnace of divine charity, thanks to prolonged moments of prayer, the constant listening to the Word of God, and to a life completely centred on the mystery of the Eucharist.”
Finally, Pope Benedict called upon the new recruits to profit from their time in Rome, in order to grow in friendship with Christ and love for His Church and to advance towards the goal of every true Christian life of holiness.