The teens who serve the Pope inside the Vatican

It’s not every day you find a group of young men, ranging from 15 to 18, who willingly make a three-year commitment to wake up at 6:30 a.m. every Sunday morning to pray and study in the house of the pope.

“The boys’ willingness to come in the first place is a sign of a certain interior disposition to follow a path of faith,” said Monsignor Joseph Murphy, spiritual assistant for the association.

The Allievi Group, started in 2010, belongs to the Association of Saints Peter and Paul, which was formed by Pope Paul VI in 1971 after the Palatine Guard of Honor was dissolved.

The association, located in the Apostolic Palace, answers directly to the Secretary of State and was assigned to serve and give life to young people.

“This is a new departure for the Vatican,” said Msgr. Murphy.

There is no other group like it inside the Vatican. It offers a complete integral formation for the human person after confirmation.

Their mission is to educate young men, ensuring spiritual, intellectual and human formation, and to cultivate service in their daily lives with the unique opportunity to serve the pope.

“We are not a school, we are a spiritual path,” says Andrea Barvi, vice supervisor of the Allievi group and former student.

Every Sunday starts with Mass at 9:00 a.m. in the chapel of the association. From there they have two hours of classes related to religious formation, liturgical service and cultural formation.

“I’m surprised to see the pilgrimage of men my age come to the Vatican and to see this faith in them,” said Lorenzo Fantori, 19, a second-year student.

The group gives equal importance and time to catechesis, sports, cultural excursions and most importantly, service. This is emphasized as the first and critical step for the young men to learn the value of service in life.

“We don’t teach a class, we teach how you can live your life, with our first example being Jesus Christ,” said Barvi. Continue reading

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