Vatican City has recently come alive with church leaders from around the world who are preparing to choose a new pope.
As the world anxiously awaits a new pope to greet crowds of the faithful in Vatican City this week, the Vatican‘s “Military” will be keeping a watchful eye. Indeed, the Vatican’s Swiss Guards, are something of a tourist attraction themselves.
For over 500 years, the Swiss Guard has been at the service of the Popes and has been watching over the Vatican. It all began in 1506 when the first Swiss arrived on request of the then Pope Julius II. The official day of the foundation of the Pontifical Swiss Guard is 22 January 1506, the day when 150 Swiss, led by their Captain Kaspar of Silenen in the Canton of Uri, entered the Vatican for the first time through the „Porta del Popolo“ and were blessed by Pope Julius II.
Continue reading more about the Swiss Guards in the following article:
- Swiss Guards in central role in papal retirement (kansascity.com)
- Sistine Chapel Conclave Prep Includes Ensuring Social Media Blackout – NPR (npr.org)
- Cardinals Gather at the Vatican (voanews.com)