- Berkshire County eschews greenback for own currency — BerkShares
- Hagel warns Pakistani leaders of U.S. aid losses over drone-strike protests
- Florida authorities ban autistic boy from owning therapeutic chickens
- Defendant in Lee Rigby machete murder trial: ‘I love al Qaeda’
- Obama lied about Syrian chemical attack, ‘cherry-picked’ intelligence: report
- MSNBC host: Obamacare a ‘wealthy white men’ racist word
- Democrat thwarts Nevada activist’s try to name peak after Reagan
- Congress ready to extend ban on plastic firearms
- Rogue reindeer runs from Santa, eludes police for hours
- Iran touts new laser that bolsters missile accuracy
Swiss Guards, pope protectors since 1506, say goodbye to Benedict XVI
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,
Pope Benedict XVI's eight-year reign as leader of the world's 1.2 billion Catholics came to a quiet end," The Herald reports.
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.
About the Author
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 email@example.com.
- Men posing as cops break into home of former deputy
- Elton John blasts Russia's anti-gay laws during Moscow concert
- Heart cancels SeaWorld concert after 'Blackfish' documentary
- South Carolina sheriff refuses to lower American flag for Nelson Mandela
- Ukraine protesters topple, decapitate Lenin statue in Kiev
Latest Blog Entries
By Brahma Chellaney
Beijing's creeping aggression signals a challenge to U.S. presence in the Asian Pacific
- CURL: Obama tells a whopper on IRS scandal
- Tech companies call for an end to NSA online snooping
- WOLF: The president's other Obamacare lies
- Satanists petition for statue at Oklahoma Statehouse
- Lawmakers see 'false narrative' of Obama as a terrorist fighter
- Obama lied about Syrian chemical attack, 'cherry-picked' intelligence: report
- MSNBC host: Obamacare a 'wealthy white men' racist word
- U.S. pilot scares off Iranians with 'Top Gun'-worthy stunt: 'You really ought to go home'
- Ted Cruz sees legal landmines ahead for Obamacare
- Bill OReilly reminds: Nelson Mandela was a communist
Independent voices from the The Washington Times Communities
A politically conservative and morally liberal Hebrew alpha male hunts left-wing viper
Taking a deeper look at the undeniable connection between mind and body from a writer and speaker on matters of health, and a practitioner of Christian Science.
An objective, analysis-based perspective of D.C. sports as seen through the eyes of lifelong D.C. sports enthusiast, John Heibel.
Find the latest news and happening that effect those in the Washington D.C., Northern Virginia and Maryland Metro region.
White House pets gone wild!
Let it snow