Married to a Swiss Guard: Life inside the Vatican

Descargar documento

Raphael is a Swiss Guard. And he met his wife, Pilar, on vacation in Mexico.

Swiss Guard

I spent three months in Merida. I learned Spanish and fell in love with her—and she can tell you everything else.

The two got married in 2017 and now live in an apartment inside the Vatican with their son—it is a life that Pilar never imagined.

Swiss Guard Wife

When he asked me to marry him, I had no idea, to tell you the truth. I was told, “let's go to Rome” and said,“then what?” Then let's go. And I arrived here and it is a total, absolute change.

The change meant moving to a foreign country, studying Italian and spending a lot of time alone until she managed to make friends with wives of the other guards. Not to mention the difficulty of living with someone who has irregular work hours.

Swiss Guard Wife

At the beginning it was very difficult because of the shifts he had. Sometimes he had night shifts and it was hard work because he had to rest before going to his shift and if he woke up at 11 o'clock at night, he woke me up and when he arrived at 6 o'clock in the morning, I had to be quiet all morning to avoid waking him up, because at the end of the day, he had to go back to work.

When Raphael and Pilar's son was born, the situation became even more interesting.

Swiss Guard Wife

Right now with Ignacio, it is a little difficult for me in the sense that he might spend a whole day without seeing his dad.
For example, yesterday he saw him for an hour and a half. That's okay, today he saw him more. But for me, the day alone with Ignacio lasts forever.

Despite the challenges, Pilar is delighted with the environment her son is growing up in.

Swiss Guard Wife

Here, regardless of whether you live in an apartment inside or outside, we are like a big family. So we all support each other. Ignacio is growing up in a very nice, very safe environment.
Many guards who have children, like Ignacio, before going to school, already have friends here. Every afternoon after school, like the same little truck that takes them there and picks them up, they come down and play soccer here in the courtyard.

Another characteristic feature of living in the Vatican is that the couple sees the Pope relatively often. And Pope Francis does not let this couple out of his sight—whenever he can, he gifts them tequila.

Swiss Guard Wife

I thanked him when he approached me, I said "thank you very much for the tequila, Your Holiness," and he replied "Are you out of it?
The excitement is the same. Both the first and the last time. That is, every year it is the same excitement to see him.

For Pilar, living in the Vatican has been an unexpected turn in her life. It is an adventure that began with a Swiss Guard's vacation in Mexico—a simple trip that changed her life.


Anuncio en el que salen 3 ordenadores marca Medion y algunas especificaciones
The most watched
The latest news from Rome, now in HD and without ads
Download the App on your phone
Available for Android and Apple
3,28€ per month or 32,88€ per year after 7 days of free trial
Available in multiple devices