Mario Enzler (R) with the 2013 Swiss bouncer swearing-in commemoration at the Paul VI Admirers Hall. (Left: Jerri Donohue. Right: Paul Ronga, CC BY-SA 3.0, via Wikimedia Commons)
Swiss Bouncer Offers Glimpse of Pope St. John Paul II’s Holiness and Humor
“It was his archetype that aggressive me. His words that accord me achievement and his account that gave administration to my life.”
Mario Enzler and three added Swiss Guards played cards at an alfresco table, adequate an Easter breach at Castel Gandolfo, the Pope’s summer retreat. Then Enzler tossed bottomward a bad card, and his accomplice accurate a balmy curse. About simultaneously, the Holy Father’s beanie landed in the centermost of their table.
The four abashed men looked up to see Pope John Paul II analytical bottomward at them from a balcony.
“Oops!” the Pontiff said.
Enzler accompanying this adventure and added addicted memories of the saint on May 6, the ceremony of the Swiss Guards, back he batten at a account bright for The Lyceum, an absolute Catholic academy in the Cleveland diocese.
“He was a actual appropriate being with an astronomic adeptness to acquaint and a ablaze intellect,” Enzler said of the Pope he served for added than three years in the backward 1980s and aboriginal 1990s.
Enzler declared the affliction accord he maintained with the Pope’s butler and a antic that prompted a beam of Papal humor. Afterwards anniversary accepted audience, the butler toted two abundant accoutrements of rosaries as he led the Pontiff out of the auditorium. Enzler was already continuing at absorption and saluting back his acquaintance passed. With no warning, the man elbowed the Swiss Bouncer at the basal of his sternum, causing Enzler to bifold over in affliction aloof as Pope John Paul II accomplished him. Tipping forward, the Bouncer about agitated into the Pope. The Holy Father paused and said in his aureate voice, “Mario, there is no charge to bow.”
Enzler cherishes a chaplet the saint gave him at a moment back the Bouncer acquainted discouraged. It was Enzler’s seventh afterwards day on assignment in the palace. His anxiety ached, he suffered in the hot weather, and his alcohol plummeted as he stood abandoned hour afterwards hour. He longed for the Pope to apprehension him.
He assuredly heard the clue drag — acquired by Parkinson’s ache — that appear the Pontiff’s approach. Back the Holy Father anesthetized Enzler afterwards casual at him, the weary, aghast Bouncer briefly bankrupt his eyes. He opened them a moment afterwards to boring into Pope John Paul II’s face. Enzler marvels that the Pope had alternate to him afterwards authoritative a sound.
The saint pulled a simple chaplet from his abridged and handed it to the Swiss Guard, advising him to accomplish it his “most able weapon.”
The Pope articular the Chaplet as his admired prayer, and Enzler additionally came to abundance it. Today he keeps the Pope’s allowance with him always.
“A man should backpack the best able weapon with him,” he said.
At Castel Gandolfo, the Swiss Guards abounding circadian Mass acclaimed by St. John Paul II. Enzler had generally apparent the Holy Father captivated in adoration afterwards Mass, but he was abnormally confused back he stumbled aloft the Holy Father abandoned in his abbey one afternoon. A amalgamation had arrived, but no domiciliary agents appeared to backpack it upstairs, and so Enzler affected the task. He audibly army the stairs and strode bottomward the hall.
As he anesthetized the chapel, the Swiss Bouncer glanced inside. The Pope was admiration on the granite floor, with his arch comatose adjoin the duke he apprenticed to the altar.
Enzler was accouterment aegis that black back the Pope strolled in his garden. Spotting him, the Holy Father approached and asked, “Mario, why don’t you accompany me abutting time?”
“How did he apperceive it was me?” Enzler wondered.
In the years back he larboard the Swiss Guards, Enzler congenital a acknowledged career in cyberbanking and finance. He is appropriately affiliated and adopting bristles children. He and his wife eventually founded an absolute Catholic academy abundant like The Lyceum, and Enzler additionally teaches at The Catholic University of America.
He recalled that St. John Paul II frequently showed the Swiss Guards his acknowledgment for their service. For his part, Enzler is beholden to accept been allotment of this force that has adequate popes for added than 500 years. He had not internalized his acceptance until his acquaintance as a Swiss Bouncer and his advancing acquaintance with Pope John Paul II. The saint’s humility, prayerfulness, and abysmal adherence fabricated a abiding appulse on Enzler.
“It was his archetype that aggressive me,” Enzler said. “His words that accord me achievement and his account that gave administration to my life.”
This commodity originally appeared May 15, 2017, at the Register.
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