1st Filipino-Swiss Vatican guard Vincent Lüthi tasked to protect Pope

Vincent Lüthi Filipino-Swiss guard
Swiss guard Vincent Lüthi has sworn an oath to protect the Pope and the Apostolic Palace in Vatican City. Screenshot from Vatican News live ceremony via CBCP News.

Vincent Lüthi is the first Filipino-Swiss guard to join the elite corps of soldiers sworn to protect the Pope in Vatican City, Rome.

Lüthi was among the 38 new Pontifical Guard recruits sworn in during the ceremony on October 4, 2020, at the San Damasus Courtyard.

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CBCP News reported that the 22-year-old Swiss guard grew up in Cugy, Switzerland, and is the only child of a Filipino mother from Bantayan Island, Cebu.

The ceremony, originally set in May, was moved to October due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Pope Francis greeted the new recruits who have chosen to dedicate “a period of their youth in the service of the Successor of Peter” and expressed his gratitude to the entire Pontifical Swiss Guard Corps for their service.

“The time you will spend here is a unique moment in your life,” the Pope said. “May you live it in a spirit of fraternity, helping one another to lead a meaningful and joyfully Christian life.”

The Pope also told the new guards ahead of the ceremony, “The oath that you will take the day after tomorrow is also a declaration of fidelity to your baptismal vocation, that is, to Christ, who calls you to be men and Christians, protagonists of your existence.”

Vatican News reported the oath-taking ceremony was held behind closed doors, in accordance with current protection regulations against the novel coronavirus.

Established in 1506, the Pontifical Swiss Guard Corps is responsible for the safety of the pope and serve as watchmen for Vatican City and the pontifical villa of Castel Gandolfo. The guards are known for their antique blue, red and yellow striped uniforms.

Pope Francis earlier appointed Filipino Cardinal Luis Antonio “Chito” Tagle to Prefect of the Vatican Congregation for the Evangelization of Peoples. He is also one of the members of the Pontifical Council for Inter-religious Dialogue.

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