President of the Swiss Confederation and head of the FDFA, Ignazio Cassis, will attend the swearing-in of the new Swiss Guard in the Vatican on 6 May, together with President of the National Council Irène Kälin and President of the Council of States Thomas Hefti, who will be part of the Swiss delegation. As usual, the event will also be attended by representatives from the political sphere, the Swiss Armed Forces and religious communities from Switzerland. Thirty-six new recruits will be sworn in this year. The host canton chosen for 2022 is Nidwalden.
Bilateral relations – between Switzerland and the Holy See – and the Pontifical Swiss Guard will be the focus of talks between President Cassis, Pope Francis and Archbishop Gallagher. During Secretary of State Pietro Parolin's visit to Switzerland last November, on the occasion of the celebrations marking the centenary of the resumption of diplomatic relations between the two states, Mr Cassis had emphasised Switzerland's desire to strengthen relations with the Vatican. The Federal Council's decision to establish a new embassy in the Holy See is part of this process, and Mr Cassis's visit to the Vatican will coincide with the presentation of the building that will house the new diplomatic representation and with the start of work.
The Swiss Confederation and the Holy See have a history that goes back centuries. One of the most special and visible links is the Pontifical Swiss Guard, founded in 1506 by Pope Julius II with the task of guaranteeing the safety and protection of the Pope. The swearing-in of the new guards is traditionally held on 6 May to commemorate the 147 soldiers who fell during the Sack of Rome in 1527.
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