Video: Impressive Swiss Guard Ceremony

By John Ritchie   
Swiss Guard
“Courage and Loyalty”
is the motto of the oldest standing army in the world, the Swiss Guard.  Their swearing-in ceremony captured in this video is simply sublime, a fine example of the Church militant.

One hundred and forty seven Swiss Guards made the ultimate sacrifice in defense of Holy Mother Church during the Sack of Rome in 1527. 

Their sacrifice is commemorated yearly on May 6 with a swearing-in ceremony for new Swiss Guards.  The striking event takes place in the historic Saint Damaso Courtyard within the Vatican City.

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The Chaplain of the Swiss Guard reads a solemn oath of loyalty:

"I swear I will faithfully, loyally and honorably serve the Supreme Pontiff [name] and his legitimate successors, and also dedicate myself to them with all my strength, sacrificing if necessary my life to defend them. I assume this same commitment with regard to the Sacred College of Cardinals whenever the see is vacant.

“Furthermore I promise to the Commanding Captain and my other superiors, respect, fidelity and obedience. This I swear! May God and our Holy Patrons assist me!”

Each new guard approaches the Swiss Guard’s flag as their name is called out.  Firmly clasping the banner in his left hand, the recruit raises his right hand high and distinctly opens three fingers, a symbol of his faith in the Holy Trinity.  

Then, he confirms the oath, proclaiming:

“I, [name of the new guard], swear diligently and faithfully to abide by all that has just been read out to me, so grant me God and so help me his Saints.”

These patron saints of the Guard include St. Martin, St. Sebastian, and St. Nicholas of Flüe, “Defensor Pacis et pater patriae.”


+3 # Leslie 2012-05-18 11:29
Glory be to the Father, and to the Son, and to the Holy Spirit. This is sooo moving and inspiring. It moved me to pray for each of them. I shall show this video to our kids and talk to them about the Swiss Guards. Thank you for sharing this.
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+2 # Joseph Hanussak 2012-05-18 12:26
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+2 # Paul J. Koola 2012-05-18 14:11
The ceromony was splendid. Please bring more of these kind of events.
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+1 # Bill Synnott 2012-05-18 14:25
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+3 # Al Notzon 2012-05-18 15:04
Impressive! Their helpfulness and firm and solemn attitude was a pleasure to witness when I visited Vatican City. They are also a wonderful example of faith with the vows they maintain during and after their sevice.
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+1 # Nel 2012-05-18 18:10
I was so moved by the ceremony, the way the guards carried themselves, with such discipline, it is simply awesome to watch. Their oath is so inspiring. This is one ceremony and occasion that young people need to watch, so they will see the difference between humble disciplined attitude and "I will do what I want" attitude.
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+1 # sara muller-farmer 2012-05-18 22:00
So powerfully strong and intense. God's mighty presence is certainly felt when watching this video. What a blessing it is to have the Swiss Guard army. May God-bless each of them.
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+1 # Treasa 2012-05-19 02:41
forwarding to my grandchildren. They need to know more and more about our Church.
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+1 # Nena Houshmand 2012-05-19 04:19
Such an honor and privilege indeed to be defending the Holy Mother Church and Her Supreme Pontiff - in whatever way - but arguably, being a member of the Swiss Guard no doubt makes one feel sublime and a step closer to divinity.

Thank you for sharing.
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0 # Vicente R. Gotingco 2012-05-19 12:17
Extremely impressive and beautiful. It takes one's faith to do the difficult job. The Swiss Guard are dedicated and
inspired by the HOLY SPIRIT. Praise God.
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