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Thursday, January 19, 2006


VATICAN CITY, JAN 19, 2006 (VIS) - In the Sistine Chapel at 9.30 a.m. on Sunday January 22, Cardinal Secretary of State Angelo Sodano will preside at Mass for the 110 members of the Pontifical Swiss Guard and their families. The ceremony will mark the beginning of commemorative celebrations for the fifth centenary of the world's oldest active military corps.

  At the same time, in the cathedral of St. Nicholas in Fribourg, Switzerland, the Swiss Cardinal Georges Marie Martin Cottier O.P. will preside at Mass for more than 500 former Swiss Guards, according to a communique made public yesterday afternoon.

  At midday, a guard of honor composed of 70 members of the corps will attend the Angelus prayer in St. Peter's Square to receive the blessing of Benedict XVI, thus reenacting events of 500 years ago under Pope Julius II. The former guards in Fribourg will be able to follow the event on television.

  The communique concludes by indicating that the commemorative day will conclude with the presentation of the Holy Father's commemorative medal for this occasion, in the Courtyard of Honor of the Swiss Guard.
.../SWISS GUARD CENTENARY/...                        VIS 20060119 (200)

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