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Pope urges young new Guards to leave their phones, look at Rome

Swiss Guards take part in a swearing-in ceremony in San Damaso Courtyard, Vatican on May 06, 2024

Antoine Mekary | ALETEIA

Kathleen N. Hattrup - published on 05/07/24

"These experiences build you up inside, and will stay with you for your whole lives."

In a brief message to the 34 new recruits of the Swiss Guard, sworn in as every year on May 6, the day their predecessors gave their lives for the pope in the 1500s, Pope Francis urged the young men to foster friendships and community life.

Noting that the Trinity is a community of persons — a life of love in relationship — the Pope warned the youth against “the habit today of spending free time alone on the computer or the cell phone.”

“I say to you too, young Guards, go against the current. Please, go against the current!”

These new recruits have just sworn an oath saying they are ready to die to protect the pope, should it be necessary. The Holy Father’s advice concerned their daily, ordinary choices.

“It’s better,” the Pope said, “to use your free time for activities in common, to get to know Rome, for moments of fraternity when you tell and share things, doing sports … These experiences build you up inside, and will stay with you for your whole lives.”

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