May 1, 2022

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1 May 2022

Ordinary Form
Third Sunday of Easter
Acts 5,27-32.40b-41
Psalm 30,2.4.5-6.11-12.13
Revelation 5, 11-14
John 21,1-19

Extraordinary Form
St. Joseph the Worker
Colossians 3,14-15.17.23-24
Psalm 36,1
Matthew 13,54-58

At the present moment there are only two events on Pope Francis’ calendar for May of 2022. This Sunday, May 1 he will lead the Regina Caeli at Noon. On Sunday, May 15 he is schedule to offer Holy Mass and canonize ten new saints, including Charles de Foucauld.

If tradition holds, on Friday, May 6 he will attend the ceremony for the swearing in of new Swiss Guards, which is one of the world’s oldest standing armies. This year May 6 will mark the 495th anniversary of the Sack of Rome, the battle in 1527 in which 147 Swiss Guards lost their lives defending Pope Clement VII from mutinous troops of the Holy Roman Empire.

The ceremony begins with three Swiss Guards blowing trumpets from a balcony in the of Cortile San Damaso, an open air courtyard within the Apostolic Palace in the Vatican. The entire troop of Swiss Guards march into the courtyard to a beat of a drum.

In the presence of a few Vatican officials and some invited guests, which usually includes U.S. Marines from the American Embassy in Rome, the Commanding Officer of the Swiss Guards reads the oath of the Swiss Guard:

“I swear I will faithfully, loyally and honorably serve the Supreme Pontiff Francis and his legitimate successors, and also dedicate myself to them with all my strength, sacrificing if necessary also 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!”

Then each new recruit approaches the flag of the Swiss Guard as his name is called out. Firmly grasping the banner with his left hand, the new guard raises his right hand and opens three fingers as a sign of his faith in the Holy Trinity. While holding up his fingers, the guard shouts: “I, (name), 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.”

God bless and protect these young men and all Christians so dedicated to the Chair of Peter.

Rev. Christopher J. Pollard