Excerpt from Pope Pius XII’s Allocution to the Pontifical Noble Guard on December 26, 1942

December 20, 2010

Pontifical Noble Guard

“None can be envious upon seeing that We bear you such special affection. To whom, in truth, is the immediate protection of Our person entrusted, if not to you? And are you not the first of Our guards?

“Guard! What lofty resonance there is in this word: the soul trembles therewith; thoughts take wing. An ardent love for the sovereign and a steadfast reverence to his person and cause vibrate and voice themselves in this name; it sets in motion a tested generosity, an unvanquished constancy and courage in face of the risks met in his service and for his defense; it speaks of virtues which, molding the champion on the one hand, on the other hand evoke from the sovereign sentiments of esteem, affection, and confidence in his guard.

“You, the guard of Our person, constitute Our armor, refulgent with that nobility which is the privilege of blood and which shone in you as the pledge of your devotion even before your admission into the Corps, for, as the ancient proverb says, ‘Good blood cannot lie.’ Life is the blood that is transmitted from rank to rank, from generation to generation in your illustrious lineages, carrying with it the fire of that devout love for the Church and the Roman Pontiff that neither diminishes nor cools with the changing events, be they joyous or sad. In the darkest hours of the history of the Popes, the loyalty of your ancestors shone brighter and burned more ardently and generously than in the resplendent hours of magnificence and material prosperity….We have no doubt that just as in the past so chosen a tradition of familiar virtues was transmitted from father to son, so will it continue to be transmitted from generation to generation as a patrimony of greatness of soul and most noble merit of one’s respective stirp.”[1]

[1] PNG 1942, pp. 349-350.

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