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Vatican Radio

(Vatican Radio) Pope Francis attended a Swiss Guard ceremony Friday afternoon — unexpected by most of the people present — and addressed the corps, speaking as well about the characteristics of a commander, according to the Gospel.

Following the nomination in February of Christoph Graf as the new Commander of the Swiss Guard, the military corps held a ceremony May 1 for the inauguration and blessing of its new flag.

Secretary of State Cardinal Pietro Parolin celebrated Mass in the Church of the Teutonic Ceremony, located on the grounds of the Vatican. Subsequently, in the Guards Quarter, was the “military act,” which was attended unexpectedly by Pope Francis.

After listening Commander Graf’s speech, the Pope addressed those present, expressing his good wishes to the new commander.

The Pope said a commander must be man of unity, charity, love, and humility. He urged the new commander to exercise paternity with the guards and to pray that the Holy Spirit will sow and make unity and love grow among all members of the corps.

He concluded, recalling the motto of the corps: “Mut und Demut” (Courage and humility).

To command evangelically means to serve, he added.

After his short speech, the Pope blessed the new commander, the Guards, and their family and friends in attendance.