Francis received in audience the Sardinian Grenadiers on Saturday afternoon. The current soldiers of the Italian army are those who left their service in Rome and ensured safety in the streets during several months of service, including around the Vatican.
Mario Galgano – Vatican
First of all, in a speech to his guests in the large audience hall, the Pope thanked:
“I would like to express my sincere gratitude for the discreet and important service you have rendered to the Holy See and shared with other police forces in the protection of public order. Your work around the Vatican, said the Pope, helps to ensure the smooth running of events that attract pilgrims and tourists from all over the world throughout the year. It is an activity that requires availability, patience, dedication and a sense of duty. “
He realized that this type of work “sometimes can be a bit tiring” – the Pope continued: “And I think about summer, I think about the cold winter … but despite everything your activity is very useful for them, the Community, which is grateful and appreciates” – said Francis.
He encouraged the security forces, Pope Francis said, to “be promoters of solidarity” and to help people “be good citizens”, both in the workplace and in their personal and social lives. “The professionalism and sense of responsibility that you experience on the spot are an expression and strengthening of the sense of belonging to the social fabric, but also to the state and the common good. In carrying out your mission, you should always be aware that every human being is loved by God, is his creation and, as such, deserves respect, ”said the Pope.
In recent years, the deployment of the Italian army in the urban environment has become a “living and reliable” reality. This mission is characterized by closeness to people. And the Pope referred to it in a special way:
“It’s very important and people comment on it like this:“ But I asked; they explained everything to me … ”. Closeness of people – it is very important – cooperation in preventing and combating crime and supporting actions in specific crisis situations. Various departments that have taken turns doing the country a great service and contributing to a safer environment. ‘
The ‘Granatieri di Sardegna’ brigade was now to do its job and make way for another military contingent. He hopes that their stay in Rome “was a positive experience for your human and professional development, and also a fruitful time from a spiritual point of view,” concluded the Pope.
Operation Strade Safe
The Italian Army has been continuously conducting Operation Strade Safe (“Safe Roads”) on the territory of the country since 4 August 2008, in accordance with the Anti-Terrorism Law. The regulation stipulates that in view of the exceptional need to prevent and combat crime and terrorism, the deployment of a contingent of military personnel of the Armed Forces acting as public security officers has been extended. The operation is by far the largest deployment of the Italian armed forces in terms of personnel, resources and materials. The first contingent, consisting of 3,000 men and women from the Italian Army, was available to provincial prefects for surveillance in sensitive areas and cells, including surveillance of immigration centers, as well as collaborative and joint police patrolling and patrolling. strength. 6,000 men and women in the armed forces are currently involved in Operation Strade Safe, ensuring a universal presence throughout Italy and actively contributing to a safer environment. Dozens of them are stationed around the Vatican.