The Swiss Guards

The Swiss Guards

The Swiss Guards are the exclusive guard of The Vatican, The Pope, and all other closely related associated. Even today, to be a member of the Pope's Guard recruits must be Catholic, single males with Swiss citizenship who have completed basic training with the Swiss military.


The Swiss Guards most notible feat was when a hostile engagement on 6 May 1527, when 147 of the 189 Guards, including their commander, died fighting the troops of Holy Roman Emperor Charles V in the stand of the Swiss Guard during the Sack of Rome in order to allow Clement VII to escape through the Passetto di Borgo, escorted by the other 40 guards.

The Pontifical Swiss Guard has served the Popes since the 16th century. Ceremonially, they shared duties in the Papal household with the Palatine Guard and Noble Guard, both of which were disbanded in 1970 under Paul VI.