May 6, 2011. (Romereports.com).
The Swiss Guard is the world's smallest army. With 101 soldiers, it oversees the security of the Vatican. But above all, the security of the Pope.Colonel Daniel R. Anrig
Swiss Guard commander “Since 1506 our primary mission is to protect the Pope and his residences. Since 1929, with the birth of the Vatican State, we also protect its borders. Whenever the Pope meets Heads of State, we take part in the ceremonies.”
Guards must be Swiss and Catholic to be considered for the army. But, they must also meet other specific requirements. For example, they have to be single. Their height must be at least 5'7'' and their age, between 19 and 30. They also need a professional degree and prior to being guards, they must have enlisted in the Swiss Army.Colonel Daniel R. Anrig
Swiss Guard commander "The Pontifical Swiss Guard was born in 1506 because Julius II needed a defense corps. The Swiss Guard had a very good reputation, so he asked for the guards to come from the Alps. "
But the reasons these young men chose to protect the Pope are very different. Martin Kreuzer
Swiss Guard "As a child, in my home, my city, I saw the procession of Corpus Christi. When I saw the Swiss Guards in uniform I thought, " I want to have that uniform." Years passed, I joined the Swiss army and even then, I was interested by the Swiss Guard. There came a time when I decided to enter the Guard to change my daily life in Switzerland. It was a matter of leaving my home, learning another language, seeing other people. "
It's a private army that has been active for 505 years. With its unique uniform, it brings color to the Pope's public appearances. Martin Kreuzer
Swiss Guard "The first time, the Swiss Guard put on this uniform, it was Christmas of 1905. They wanted to have a new uniform. These colors are from the great medieval Médici family of Florence. Wearing these colors was a gift to the Swiss Guard."
It's a military with unique characteristics. Not only does it defend its own country, but the Vatican and above all the Pope.