May 06, 2013 - Pope Francis on Monday met Vatican’s famous Swiss Guards and reminded them that the faith that God gifted them on the day of their Baptism was their most precious treasure, and that source of their mission in the service of the Pope and the Church has its source in that very faith. The Pope spoke to them on May 6th , the anniversary that commemorates 147 guards who lost their lives defending Pope Clement VII in the sack of Rome in 1527 by the troops of Charles V of Spain. Only 42 guards survived. On this anniversary the Vatican holds a swearing-in of all new guards to help remind them of the seriousness of their commitment. Pope Francis thanked the Swiss Guards and their families saying he personally experiences their dedication, professionalism and love. Recalling their heroic sacrifice of 1527, Pope Francis said that today they are faced with another form of sacrifice that is equally demanding – that is, of putting their youthful energies at the service of the Church and the Pope. This requires strength animated by love and sustained by faith in Christ. He noted that their decision to serve the Pope was driven by their faith, which speaks of the attachment of Swiss Catholics to the Church. Recalling that Monday evening 35 recruits were to take their oath, the Pope reminded the Swiss Guards to regard their service as a witness to Christ.