A familiar touch of colour was seen in the assembly of the
faithful at the Mass celebrated by Pope Francis on Friday morning, 3 May, in
the Chapel of the Domus Sanctae Marthae. The colours of the Michelangelesque
uniforms of 70 Swiss Guards stood out. Present with the guards were the
Commandant Daniel Rudolf Anrig and the chaplain Mons. Alain de Raemy, who
concelebrated with the Pope, together with various priests, including
Archbishop Claudio Maria Celli, President of the Pontifical Council for
At the end of the Mass, Pope Francis thanked the Swiss
Guards “for their love of and closeness to the Church and for their
closeness to the Pope and for their love for the Pope. It is a beautiful
testimony of fidelity to the Church. May the Lord bless you for this
service. The Church loves you very much. And so do I”.
Citing the passage in the Old Testament when Abraham asks
God to save Sodom, the Bishop of Rome, said: “‘But what if there were 45
righteous, would you save them? And what if there were 40, 35...’. He
negotiates with God”, the Holy Father said. But to do this “we must have
courage”. Courage is also going to the Lord to plea for others like Moses
did in the desert. And when the Church loses this courage, she enters in “a
lukewarm state”. Lukewarm Christians, those without courage, the Pope
declared, “hurt the Church terribly” because they close in on themselves.
This destroys relationships. But above all the lukewarm lose “the courage to
Yet, he noted, we seem to “have the courage to get involved
in the little things... in our jealousy, our envy, our career-oriented
thoughts” but “this is not good for the Church... The Church should be
brave! We need to be brave in prayer, in challenging Jesus” who said he
would answer our prayers. “Persevere!”.
At the end of Mass, among others, the Pope greeted Wilfried
Günther, delegate administrator of Medien Dienstleistungs GmbH (Munich);
Joachim Schnieders, finance director of the Diocese of Osnabrück; and Benno
Wagner, vice delegate administrator of the Union of Dioceses in Germany
(Bonn), sponsors of the German weekly-edition of L’Osservatore Romano,
with the head of the edition Ms Astrid Haas, and Gaetano Vallini, editorial
assistant of the daily Italian edition.