· Cardinal Parolin to 23 new recruits of the Swiss Guard ·
It's not a profession but a mission, not a job but a vocation: on Friday morning, 6 May, the day on which the Vatican commemorates 147 Swiss soldiers who laid down their lives in defense of the Pope during the sack of Rome in 1527, Cardinal Pietro Parolin celebrated a memorial mass at the Chair of the Cathedral in St Peter's Basilica, addressing his homily especially to the 23 new guards who later that afternoon were sworn into service.
The Cardinal encouraged them “not to be satisfied with the mediocre and fleeting things in life” and to commit themselves “with the enthusiasm of youth to greater things, the the truth, to the Lord who is the source and foundation of everything”.
The ceremony was preceeded, on Thursday evening 5 May, with a concert by Glarner Jugen Blasorchester, a musical group comprised of artists between the ages of 16 and 25, from the Canton of Glarona. After that, guests participated in the Vigil “to dry tears” which was presided by Pope Francis in St Peter's Basilica. The inclusion of this solemn moment of prayer into the program of celebations for the Pontifical Guard confirms what Cardinal Parolin said in his homily: “In carrying out your invaluable service, your abilities and skills are not the only things that count, though important. The underlying foundation, the base, is your faith in the presence and in the help of the Lord”, indeed, the Cardinal continued, “only with Christ will your service lead to growth and bear fruit, otherwise it will be a lifeless function, without growth and without future”.
St. Peter’s Square
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