“He’s the sweetest person I’ve ever met.”

“He’s the sweetest person I’ve ever met.”

Didier Grandjean, 31, Swiss goalkeeper from 2011 to 2019. personal group

maintenance Didier Grandjean, 31, served the German pope for the last two years of his pontificate. This Thursday, he will be a reader at his funeral service. From Rome, which he trusted Figaro.

For 500 years, the Pontifical Swiss Guard has been responsible for the security of the Pope and the Vatican. Today it is the smallest army in the world after Monaco, with a strength of 135 soldiers.

Le Figaro. – You served Benedict XVI between 2011 and 2013. What are your personal memories of him?

Didier Grandjean. – The first time you see a pope is always impressive. As for Benedict XVI, I remember well. He was taking the elevator, and I was waiting for him at the exit to greet him, as was the custom. He nodded to me with a slight smile. Benoit wasn’t as tangible as François, who loves to shake hands, but he had this deep, striking gaze that pierces you. It was his own language.

He always paid special attention to the guards. For example, I remember one day at Castel Gandolfo when he walked past me, caught up in his thoughts. A little later, he turned around, looked at me and nodded. For me…

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