Swiss Guards played a key role in the Pope’s historic retirement Thursday as they flanked the 20-foot doorway leading into the papal palace at 8 p.m. in the Vatican.
The Miami Herald tweeted that about 100 well-wishers braved the freezing temperatures to witness the occasion. The guards marched into the palace. The massive wooden doors began closing shut, “and with the click of a lock,
The Swiss Guard are one of the most beloved traditions of the papacy, and they’ll finally get a few days rest until the next Pope takes the reigns.
The guards’ main duty is to protect the Pope, as they are armed with halberds and are trained in unarmed combat and small arms. Fox News reports that they also provide ceremonial duties and assist at Vatican functions.
Perhaps corps are known best, however, for their Renaissance-style gala uniforms of blue, red, orange and yellow stripes and crimson-plumed helmets, meant for special occasions, like a swearing-in or the Pope’s retirement. Their day-to-day dress is more functional, with a solid-blue version of the gala dress and a blue beret.
The Papal Swiss Guard was founded in 1506 by Pope Giulio II, and it is the only Swiss Guard that still exists. Over 500 years later, Switzerland still supplies soldiers to the Vatican.
© Copyright 2013 The Washington Times, LLC. Click here for reprint permission.
Jessica Chasmar is a continuous news writer for The Washington Times. Previously, she was part of the start-up team for The Washington Times’ digital aggregation product, Times247. She can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.
By Mark Mix
Home day care providers would be forced into unions
Independent voices from the TWT Communities
Video reviews of today's hottest trends in Minecraft (servers and mods) along with a look at the latest video games with your host MCairsoft14 (alias Jerad Zad).
The cold hard truth about politics in America today and the state of this once great nation.
Uncensored exploration of issues concerning current events, civil liberties, American political advocacy, and the political and social issues facing military veterans.
A collection of reader guest articles, thoughts and opinions by Communities writers and breaking news and information.
World's Ugliest Dog Contest
Spelling Bee finale
Marines train Afghan soldiers
Rolling Thunder 2013
Benghazi: The anatomy of a scandal