What is the purpose of the Swiss Guard? (2024)

What is the purpose of the Swiss Guard?

Swiss Guards, corps of Swiss soldiers responsible for the safety of the pope. Often called “the world's smallest army,” they serve as personal escorts to the pontiff and as watchmen for Vatican City and the pontifical villa of Castel Gandolfo.

(Video) The History & Requirements of the Swiss Guard: the Oldest Standing Army | EWTN News Nightly
What is special about Swiss Guard?

Swiss Guards are known for their unique qualities that make them stand out from other security forces. One of these qualities is their loyalty. Swiss Guards are dedicated to serving the Pope and protecting the Vatican, and they take their oath of loyalty very seriously.

(Video) A look at the Swiss Guard
(60 Minutes)
Why is the pope guarded by the Swiss Guard?

The pope wanted to use Swiss mercenaries in their fights with France and the Holy Roman Empire. In 1506, Pope Julius II requested 200 permanent Swiss mercenaries to serve as his personal guard. The tradition stuck and has been a part of the papal character ever since (though it has ebbed and flowed with time.)

(Video) Why The Pope's Army Is The Strangest In The World
Did the Swiss Guard ever fight?

The most famous episode in the history of the Swiss Guards was their defence of the Tuileries Palace in central Paris during the French Revolution. Of the nine hundred Swiss Guards defending the palace on 10 August 1792, about six hundred were killed during the fighting or massacred after they surrendered.

(Video) The Pontifical Swiss Guard
(Guardia Svizzera | Schweizergarde | Garde Suisse)
Are Swiss Guards allowed to marry?

Yes, Swiss Guard are allowed to marry after five years of service. Otherwise, it's usually only allowed for guardsmen over the age of 25 who have reached the rank of corporeal.

(Video) Soldiers Of The Pope | Full Movie | David Willer
(Vision Video)
Are Swiss Guards elite soldiers?

The guards, who are independent of the Swiss armed forces, are employed by the Roman Catholic Church under the leadership of the pope, to whom they swear fealty in a ceremony at Belvedere Court. As is common with any elite military corps, competition is intense for inclusion in the Swiss Guards.

(Video) Defending the pope: behind the Swiss Guards' armour | AFP
(AFP News Agency)
What language do the Swiss Guard speak?

In the Swiss Guard, Swiss German is the language used for giving commands, but the individual guards take their oath of loyalty in their own languages: German, French, Italian or Romansh. Since the state was established, the native languages of the popes have been Italian, German, Polish and Spanish.

(Video) How Protected Is the Pope?
(The Infographics Show)
How much do Swiss guards get paid?

Those who are accepted serve for a minimum of two years. Regular guardsmen (halberdiers) receive a tax-free salary of EUR 1,300 per month (as of 2015) plus extra pay for hours worked overtime. In addition, accommodation and board are provided. Members of the guard are eligible for pontifical decorations.

(Video) Confessions of a Swiss Guard | Chris Stefanick Show
(Augustine Institute | The Catholic Faith Explained)
What is the salary of the pope?

Popes usually get paid hendsomely, the current wage he gets is $32,000 on a monthly basis but he refused to get any of that money. Instead, Pope Francis decided to either donate this money to the church, use it to endow a foundation, placed in trust or pass it on to a family member.

(Video) One day at the Swiss Guard barracks
(ROME REPORTS in English)
Why do the popes wear red shoes?

The indoor Papal slippers were made of red velvet or silk and were heavily decorated in gold braid, with a gold cross in the middle. Throughout Church history, the color red has been deliberately chosen to represent the blood of Catholic martyrs spilled through the centuries following in the footsteps of Christ.

(Video) The Swiss Guard is looking for more members, but with specific eligibility requirements …
(Brut America)

Who does the Swiss Guard serve today?

The Swiss Guard has protected the pope and his residence since 1506, and that has not changed to this day. Today the traditional Renaissance uniform is worn by a modern, well-trained, young Swiss.

(Video) The Last Stand of the Swiss Guards - The Sack of Rome in 1527
(History With Hilbert)
What are the secret police in the Vatican?

The Gendarmerie Corps of Vatican City State (Italian: Corpo della Gendarmeria dello Stato della Città del Vaticano) is the gendarmerie, or military police and security force, of Vatican City, Holy See and its extraterritorial properties.

What is the purpose of the Swiss Guard? (2024)
What country are Swiss Guards from?

Swiss Guards must be male and of Swiss nationality, as well as being Catholic, unmarried, aged between 19 and 30, and be a minimum height of 174 cm. They must also have undergone military training and have completed a degree or a high school diploma.

Can an American become a Swiss Guard?

Can anyone become a member of the Swiss Guard? Becoming a Swiss Guard is not easy, for starters you must be Swiss, male, Catholic, single and under 30. New recruits are sworn in each year on the 6th of May to coincide with the Sack of Rome in 1527, when 147 Swiss Guards lost their lives protecting Pope Clement VII.

Do Swiss Guards have to be celibate?

Traditionally, the Swiss Guards were celibate during their time of service. That is no longer the case. With special permission, guards can marry after the age of 25. Previously, to don a wedding ring, one had to have reached the rank of colonel.

Can an American be a Swiss Guard?

Be Swiss. Easier said than done, but to be part of the Swiss Guard you actually have to be a living, breathing Swiss citizen. Weird huh? According to the Pontifical Swiss Guard's website they wish to maintain their 'typical Swiss character' and all guardsmen must have a 'particular attachment' to Switzerland.

What is the smallest army in the world?

The smallest and oldest standing army is the Pontifical Swiss Guard in the Vatican City, which was created in its current form on 21 January 1506 and had 110 active guards as of 2006. Swiss Guardsmen must be single, Swiss-Catholic men over 1.7 m (5 ft 8 in) tall.

Does the Vatican have its own military?

The Vatican City State has never had independent armed forces, but it has always had a de facto military provided by the armed forces of the Holy See: the Pontifical Swiss Guard, the Noble Guard, the Palatine Guard, and the Papal Gendarmerie Corps.

Who is the leader of the Swiss Guard?

Commander of the Guard – Christoph Graf

Colonel Christoph Graf was born 5 September 1961 and comes from Pfaffnau (LU).

Can you take pictures with the Swiss Guard?

The Swiss Guard have fancier uniforms but they are just the same. Cameras are allowed in the Sistine Chapel--you just can't take photos with them. Swiss Guards ARE - they are not decorative - and no, they won't pose with you.

Can you approach a Swiss Guard?

When a Swiss guard is standing in silence with his halberd in hand, he is on Honor Duty. This means he should not be approached. However, if he is standing with his hands folded and facing the crowds, he may be approached for questions or maybe even for a photo.

Does the pope own a Lamborghini?

Lamborghini gifted a Huracán RWD Coupé to the Pope last year, and made sure it matched His Holiness in appearance and class. It has a white paint job contrasted by stripes and detailing in the Vatican City flag colors, and is trimmed in white leather and signed by the Pope (!) on the hood.

How much does the pope get paid after retirement?

Let's start with the basics: The pope emeritus will receive a monthly pension of 2,500 euros, according to Italian newspaper La Stampa.

What does the pope eat?

A typical meal might consist of baked chicken, salad, fruit, and wine. Italian staples like pasta, gnocchi, and polenta make occasional appearances.

Which pope wore Prada shoes?

ROME (Reuters) - After years of speculation that Pope Benedict wears shoes by Prada, the Vatican's official newspaper denied such talk as "frivolous".


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