The Pontifical Swiss Guard mourns the death of Pope Benedict XVI.
The Pontifical Swiss Guard speaks of a “unique experience” on the occasion of the funeral of Pope Emeritus Benedict XVI. on Thursday at the Vatican. Since his death, two Swiss Guards have stood next to the body around the clock and watched over it.
At the funeral ceremony, which began on Thursday at 9.30 a.m. in the Vatican, the body of Joseph Aloisius Ratzinger lay on a catafalque covered with golden-yellow fabric, framed by two Swiss Guards in magnificent clothing. In a post on its Facebook page, the Pontifical Swiss Guard points out the historic character of this day, which is “unique for many”, considering that the last wake was almost 18 years ago.
The Papal Guard is the oldest army in the world, founded by Pope Julius II in 1506 and made up of a total of 135 men. The Guardsmen, who live in barracks in the Vatican, have pledged to ensure the Pope’s security for at least 26 months. (SDA/chs)