This site uses cookies to improve your experience and to provide services and advertising. By continuing to browse, you agree to the use of cookies described in our Cookies Policy. You may change your settings at any time but this may impact on the functionality of the site. To learn more see our Cookies Policy.
OK
Dublin: 14 °C Thursday 23 May, 2019
Advertisement

PHOTOS: Vatican welcomes 26 Swiss Guards into world's oldest army

The swearing-in ceremony for the new recruits took place in the Vatican today.

TWENTY-SIX SWISS MEN have joined the oldest standing army in the world, swearing to give up their lives to protect the pope as the Vatican’s newest Swiss Guards.

The swearing-in ceremony took place earlier today inside the Vatican auditorium — a last-minute change due to rain. Usually it is held in the St. Damaso courtyard of the Apostolic Palace.

The ceremony is held each 6 May to commemorate the day in 1527 when 147 Swiss Guards died protecting Pope Clement VII during the Sack of Rome.

The guards, who sign up for a minimum of two years, must be upstanding, single, Swiss Catholic men under age 30. Famous for their blue-and-gold uniforms, halberds (spearlike weapons), and crimson-plumed helmets, they protect the pope, provide ceremonial duty and assist at Vatican functions.

PHOTOS: Vatican welcomes 26 Swiss Guards into world's oldest army
1 / 7
  • Vatican Swiss Guards

    Source: AP Photo/Alessandra Tarantino
  • Vatican Swiss Guards

    Source: AP Photo/Alessandra Tarantino
  • Vatican Swiss Guards

    Source: AP Photo/Alessandra Tarantino
  • Vatican Swiss Guards

    Source: AP Photo/Riccardo De Luca
  • Vatican Swiss Guards

    Source: AP Photo/Riccardo De Luca
  • Vatican Swiss Guards

    Source: AP Photo/Riccardo De Luca
  • Vatican Swiss Guards

    Source: AP Photo/Riccardo De Luca

  • Share on Facebook
  • Email this article
  •  

About the author:

Associated Press

Read next:

COMMENTS (22)

This is YOUR comments community. Stay civil, stay constructive, stay on topic. Please familiarise yourself with our comments policy here before taking part.
write a comment

    Leave a commentcancel