Vice president of the Federal Council to pay visit to the Pope and Swiss Guard at the Vatican

Press releases, 05.05.2023

Viola Amherd, Vice president of the Federal Council, will attend the swearing-in ceremony of the new recruits to the Pontifical Swiss Guard at the Vatican on 6 May. She will also hold talks with Pope Francis and Christoph Graf, Commander of the Guard.

The meeting with the Pope and the Commander of the Guard will focus on bilateral relations between Switzerland and the Holy See, the war in Ukraine, concerns of Swiss Catholics, and the Pontifical Swiss Guard.

The Swiss delegation this year includes National Council president Martin Candinas and Council of States president Brigitte Häberli-Koller, as well as Thomas Süssli, Chief of the Armed Forces. In Rome the delegation will visit the Istituto Svizzero, which works with various agencies of the Federal Administration to promote Swiss cultural and economic activities in Italy.

The swearing-in ceremony will also be attended by Swiss political and military representatives, as well as by representatives from Switzerland’s religious communities. The canton of Aargau is the guest canton at this year's swearing-in ceremony.  

The Pontifical Swiss Guard was founded in 1506 by Pope Julius II; it reports directly to the Pope, ensures his security and performs ceremonial duties. New Swiss guards are traditionally sworn in on 6 May in memory of the 147 soldiers who died during the Sack of Rome in 1527.

This year 23 new recruits from all over Switzerland will be sworn in.  

Further information:

Bilateral relations Switzerland–Holy See (Vatican City)
Pontifical Swiss Guard

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