Home - VIS Vatican - Receive VIS - Contact us - Calendar

The Vatican Information Service is a news service, founded in the Holy See Press Office, that provides information about the Magisterium and the pastoral activities of the Holy Father and the Roman Curia...[]

Last 5 news

VISnews in Twitter Go to YouTube

Friday, January 10, 2014


Vatican City, 10 January 2014 (VIS) – This morning in the Sala Clementina the Pope received in audience the Gentlemen of His Holiness, the corps created by Pope Paul VI in 1968. They are laymen who are recompensed for their work for the Church and receive this honorific duty on a discretionary basis. They form part of the lay papal household, like the Commandant of the Swiss Guard. They were previously known as the Papal Chamberlains of the Sword and Cape, a role that was either by secret participation or hereditary. Their main current role is to receive heads of Government or State upon arrival in the Vatican and to accompany them to their meeting with the Pontiff.

“The various Authorities and other personalities who visit the See of Peter experience their first contact with this House and receive their first impressions through you, dear Gentlemen”, remarked the Pope. “As your name indicates, the gifts of politeness and cordiality are therefore necessary to put these people at ease. These human qualities find their most authentic root in a life inspired by faith, which bears witness to evangelical coherence unmarred by worldly attitudes”.

Pope Francis commented that the time of the Nativity is now nearing its end, and he encouraged the Gentlemen and their families to ensure that “this inner light is not dispersed, so we may bring to our daily, family and professional lives the joy of faith, which is expressed in charity, benevolence and tenderness”.

“I bless you all and wish you a serene and fruitful year. Let us pray for each other”, he concluded.


Vatican City, 10 January 2014 (VIS) – The “Sediari Pontifici”, or Papal Ushers, following the Collegial tradition, the most ancient in the Vatican, in existence since the fourteenth century – were received in audience by the Pope in the Consistory Hall this morning.

The chair-bearers or ushers had the honour of carrying the Pope on an elevated chair during liturgical celebrations. They currently serve in the pontifical apartment, welcoming the Pope's visitors, and are present at the general audiences in St. Peter's Square and on all occasions when the Pope meets the faithful.

In his address, Pope Francis recalled that we are currently in the liturgical time of the Nativity, and emphasised that the mystery of the birth of Jesus “calls us to bear witness in our lives to the humility, simplicity and spirit of service that He has taught us”. “In your daily work too, you have the opportunity to emulate these characteristics of the Son of God, Who 'did not come to be served, but to serve'. Experienced with this interior attitude, work can be transformed into apostolate, a valuable opportunity for communicating the joy of being Christians to all you encounter”.

The Pope emphasised that during these months he has become aware of the ideals that inspire the work of the ushers: “love for the Church and for the Holy See, welcoming cordiality, patience, calmness and serenity of bearing, which constitute a fine calling card presented to those who visit the Apostolic Palace to meet Peter's Successor. For this, I cordially thank you and am indebted to you. I offer you my warmest wishes for peace; I guarantee my prayers for you, and count on yours on my behalf. Thank you”.


Vatican City, 10 January 2014 (VIS) – Today, the Holy Father received in audience:

- Archbishop Gerhard Ludwig Muller, prefect of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith.

- Cardinal Willem Jacobus Eijk, archbishop of Utrecht, Netherlands.
Copyright © VIS - Vatican Information Service