The Pope spoke to the recruits on the anniversary of the Sack of Rome, a battle in 1527 in which 147 Swiss Guards died defending Pope Clement VII from mutinous troops of the Holy Roman Empire.
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The Register has learned that since the Spring, the Vatican has been holding seminars to “indoctrinate” the guardsmen to take the anti-Covid vaccine.
“It is something that only we, Swiss people, can do, and it is important to show that there still are young people ready to be committed to promote some values,” Swiss Guard Baptiste Crettaz said.
Fundraising for the renovation of the Swiss Guard barracks has been underway since 2016, through the creation of a Switzerland-based charitable foundation.
In addition, three other residents or citizens of Vatican City State tested positive for the virus, said Holy See press office.
The Swiss Guards marked the 493rd anniversary of the May 6, 1527 battle with Mass in the church of Santa Maria of the Pieta in the Teutonic College, followed by the “laying of the wreath,” in the Square of the Roman Protomartyrs in Vatican City.
Some of the new guards shared their special experience with the Register on the sidelines of the May 6 ceremonies.