First Swiss Guard of Filipino Descent Joins Elite Force Protecting the Pope
On October 4, some 38 new Pontifical Guardsmen, more commonly known as Swiss Guards, solemnly vowed to serve the Holy Father diligently and faithfully and, if requested, give their lives for him. Among them was Vincent Lüthi, a 21-year-old Filipino-Swiss. It is the first time in history for a Swiss Guard of Filipino descent to count among the Pope’s elite protection force.
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Traditionally, new recruits to the Swiss Guard are sworn on the sixth of May in the Vatican. The date is significant because it marks the day when 147 Swiss Guards died for Pope Clement VII in the Sack of Rome in 1527.
Because of the COVID-19 pandemic, the traditional swearing-in ceremony for the new recruits was postponed to October 4.
This afternoon, 38 new recruits of the Pontifical Swiss Guard swore allegiance to the Roman Pontiff. The ceremony, which usually takes place on May 6th, the date in 1527, when 147 Swiss Guards died defending Clement VII during the Sack of Rome, was delayed because of the pandemic pic.twitter.com/bEwAdXrWv5— Catholic Sat (@CatholicSat) October 4, 2020
Pope Francis Greeting Vincent Lüthi
What We Know So Far About Vincent Lüthi
Vincent Lüthi is a Swiss citizen born to a Filipino mother. According to Radio Caritas Mariae, his mother, Marma Marigomen Luthi, is from Santa Fe, Bantayan Island, Cebu. Lüthi grew up in the town of Cugy in Vaud, Linden, Switzerland.
According to an official document released by the Pontifical Swiss Guard, Lüthi joined the Swiss Guards on March 1, 2020. He is a Swiss citizen with French ancestry.
Cugy, Vaud, Switzerland
Lüthi was recruited into the Swiss Army prior to joining the Swiss Guards. He is part of Switzerland’s Panzergrenadier (PzGren) Division where he holds the rank of lieutenant.
The PzGren is the modern term for Swiss, Polish, and German mechanized infantry who are trained to be transported in armored vehicles such as tanks.
Vincent Lüthi Guarding the Pope
Currently, Lüthi is a Habeldier in the Swiss Guard. Habeldiers wield the halberd or Swiss voulge, a two-handed pole weapon that came to prominent use during the 14th to 16th centuries in Europe.
Lüthi also underwent rigorous training to qualify as a Swiss Guard. In this Instagram post by guardiasvizzerapontificia, the official account of the Swiss Guards, Lüthi is seen in a more subdued uniform for combat training.
Vincent Lüthi at the Swiss Guard Self-Defense Course
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Grundausbildung mit der Tessiner Kantonspolizei: Selbstverteidigung (MDTS). # Formazione di base presso la polizia cantonale ticinese: Autodifesa (MDTS). # Formation de base auprès de la Police cantonale tessinoise: Cours d’auto-défense (MDTS). # www.schweizergarde.ch @polizia_ti # #GSP1506 #GuardiaSvizzeraPontificia #Schweizergarde #Gardesuisse #SwissGuard #SwissGuards #Schweiz #Suisse #Svizzera #Vatikan #Vatican #Vaticano #ArmeeCH #rekrutenschule #ecolerecrue #scuolareclute #selbstverteidigung #autodefense #autodifesa #mdts
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Brief Background of the Swiss Guard
The Swiss Guard is the official armed forces of the Vatican, primarily tasked with the protection of Popes. They number no more than 135 men. To be a Swiss guard, you must be a Swiss citizen, Catholic, and unmarried, and must be 19 to 30 years old. You must also be part of the Swiss Army and passed the Swiss Army basic training.
The Swiss Guard is one of the world's oldest military unit in continuous operation. It was established in 1506 during the reign of Pope Julius II.
Swiss Guard Halberdier Vincent Lüthi