Visitandine Sisters of Fribourg Encourage Swiss Guard

Swiss Guard: Friburgian Vincent Perritaz takes the oath in the Vatican
06.05.2017 by Jacques Berset,
Engaged in the Pontifical Swiss Guard since 1 June 2016, Vincent Perritaz was sworn in on May 6, 2017 in the Vatican, along with 39 other young Swiss who serve the Pope for a minimum of two years. On the eve of his swearing-in, met his parents in their shop, L’Antiquaire du Tilleul, in Fribourg, near the St-Nicolas cathedral

“He is not going to the Foreign Legion anymore,” says Christian Perritaz about his 24-year-old son, who will be sworn in during a solemn ceremony attended by his parents and friends. Anne, the mother, said she was just as confident. She finds that Vincent’s commitment is not a whim, ” He has followed a call, it is an act of faith! ”

Vincent, who passed his baccalaureate at St-Michel College before making his army in the tanks up to the rank of sergeant, comes from a believing family , connected with the Sisters of the Visitation, in Fribourg..

The mother tells that towards the end of her military service, Vincent told them: “I want to make the way to Santiago de Compostela. I want to make the pilgrimage alone! ” His parents were a little surprised, but he was in good physical condition and felt able to make the trip.

He first went through the cathedral to receive, alone, the blessing of Canon Claude Ducarroz, and then left. “He did not take the shortest route. Passing the Pyrenees, after Roncesvalles, he took the ‘French way’ to Compostela, but there were too many people in his eyes, he wanted to be alone, so he took another route. After 79 days and 2,500 km of road, he arrived at the goal … “, says Christian, not without some pride.

On the way to Compostela, Vincent met a walker who has become a friend, who talked to him about the Swiss Guard, a cousin who had spent 15 years in the Pope’s service. “He already had the idea of ​​becoming a guard when he was a child. It has matured on the road, however, for the land was fertile. ” Vincent then met Bishop Alain de Raemy, former chaplain of the Guard, then other Swiss guards.
With a letter of recommendation from Canon Ducarroz, Vincent went to Glarus to pass the selection. There he was reminded that the Swiss guard was a practicing Catholic, and that, in charge of the Pope’s security, he must have an irreproachable reputation. He must represent, in a way, by his belonging to the Guard and by his religious practice, a “visiting card” of the Holy Father.

“If I am called I will go on foot to Rome,” he told his parents on his return. Recruited, he took his walking bag on April 15, 2016. He took the “Via Francigena” (the French way), which connects Canterbury, England, to the Eternal City, traveling 1,200 km on foot. “He has once again made a few detours,” says his father. The only exception to this step is the passage of the Grand-St-Bernard tunnel by car.
Night at the castle

Vincent arrived in Rome on 28 May 2016, and joined the Guard on 1 June. He signed for two years. “On his way back from St Jacques, Christian points out that there is no rectilinear way to be guided. He had not prepared anything, and he did the same for Rome. ” He followed the Gospel thoroughly, relying on Providence, notes Anne.

“On one occasion, on the way, a little desperate, tired, not knowing where to sleep, he thought to spend the night outside … He ended up being invited to a castle, a real castle!”
The friendship of he Sisters of the Visitation

The Sisters of the Visitation, who knew him from a very young age, accompanied him spiritually on his way. They had planned, and each day one of them prayed for him, so that everything would go well on the way.

Knowing that his son had to sign a document stating that he was ready to die for the pope, Christian wanted to be totally serene, just like his wife: “In Rome, he has a great experience, These are not holidays! But when he wants to get to something, Vincent is determined. We have already visited him in Rome, and hearing him tell his ‘basilica’, to see him happy in this environment, he who is sensitive to art, makes us fully confident. And Anne adds that Vincent is touched by the presence of God and wants to witness
40 new Swiss guards took the oath Saturday, May 6, 2017 in the St. Damase Court of the Apostolic Palace in the Vatican. Among them is Friborg’s  Vincent Perritaz.

The new guards will swear an oath on the flag of the Guard, swear to serve Pope Francis faithfully, and sacrifice their lives for his defense in case of necessity. The ceremony will include Doris Leuthard, President of the Confederation, Appenzell Ivo Bischofberger, President of the Council of States, many federal and cantonal parliamentarians and the Swiss Ambassador to the Holy See Pierre-Yves Fux The Bishop of Lausanne, Geneva and Freiburg, Bishop Charles Morerod.

The Swiss Pontifical Guard, inviting a host canton, wants to consolidate relations with Switzerland. This year celebrates the 600th anniversary of the birth of Saint Nicholas of Flüe, one of the patron saints from Obwalden. It is an official delegation of the canton of Obwalden, composed of the Council of State “in corpore” His Landammann Franz Enderli, who is the honorary host of the ceremony.

Of the 40 new guards, 14 are French-speaking: 4 Vaudois, 3 Fribourgeois, 2 Jurassiens, 2 Bernese, 2 Valaisans and one Genevois, 4 Italian-speakers (three Ticinese and one Grison), the others being German-speaking.
The memory of the Sac de Rome

In memory of the heroic sacrifice of the 147 Swiss guards who saved the life of the Holy Father at the cost of their own lives at the Sac de Rome in 1527, the swearing in of the new guards took place in the internal courtyard of the Apostolic Palace, The afternoon of 6 May. This year, the first volleys from the new one-month recruit school model in Switzerland, donated by the Ticino Police Training Center, will be sworn in at the Isone square in Ticino.

On 5 May, a wreath was placed in honor of the deceased on 6 May 1527, and decorations were given to the guards on the Roman protomartyr square for parents and private guests. On the morning of May 6, a Mass was presided by Cardinal Gerhard Müller, Prefect of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith at St. Peter’s Basilica., sung by the Jodlerklub Flüeli Ranft, of the canton of Obwalden, directed by Silvia Windlin.

Translated by this blogger

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