The Swiss Guards are known throughout the whole world as the most historical army, as it is the oldest army in the world, and the smallest, it was established in the year 1506 by Pope Julius II. With the prestige of being a Swiss Guard, a Filipino in Rome is getting the buzz as he is the very first Filipino ever to be part of the Swiss Guard.
His name is Lt. Vincent Lüthi, a Filipino-Swiss, one of 38 new members of the corp. He took the oath together with his colleagues last October 4.
According to a report of CBCP News, Vincent, a 21-years-old new recruit is the only son of a Swiss father and a Filipino mother from Santa Fe in Bantayan Island, Cebu. He was born and raised in Cugy, Switzerland.
His primary role as part of the Swiss Guards is to serve the Pope. The army is now a de facto military force in Vatican City. They are still committed to representing the Sacred College of Cardinals in the event of the absence of a decision by the Pope.
They also conduct ceremonial duties as honorary guards at papal liturgies and other Vatican functions, such as receptions for heads of state and monarchs and audiences. The guards are clearly identifiable in their famous antique blue, red, and yellow striped uniforms.
Traditionally, the selection and oath of new guards take place in May. However, the ritual was canceled this year as a result of the coronavirus crisis that destroyed Italy.
The Pope greeted the new guards and their families. Pope Francis thanked the Swiss Guards for their service, reminding them of their duty to the Church.
“The time you will spend here is a unique moment in your life. May you live it in a spirit of fraternity, helping one another to lead a meaningful and joyfully Christian life,” Francis said.
“With His help and the power of the Holy Spirit, you will serenely face the obstacles and challenges of life. Do not forget that the Lord is always at your side: I sincerely hope that you will always feel His consoling presence,” the Pontiff added.
New applicants are expected to be unmarried Swiss males at the age of 19 to 30 years old. They were required to finish training under the Swiss Army.