Joining the Vatican Gaurd

I missed the Spanish Inquisition, and I was far too young to join the crusades. So my question is this, how can a young Catholic merge religious fervor and a love of weaponry? More to the point, how would I join the Vatican Guard? With the whole celibacy thing going on, I doubt there is a large pool of post-pubescent teens in the Vatican. Where do they draw their members from?

Well, first you’d have to be Swiss.

From this site:

Maybe someday the link for the admission requirements will work, in the mean time, there are some nice photos of the boys.

Swiss Guard

Yikes, maybe I’ve changed my mind…What do you mean,…I have to wear THAT???

What? You’d prefer Tommy Hilfiger or Calvin Klein to a uniform drawn up my Michelangelo?

Here’s their official site: Of course…you have to be able to speak French, German or Italian.

I was reading through the information about the Swiss Guard, and I stumbled upon something. Can anyone tell me why the guards can be sworn in using Ladino? I always thought Ladino was a combination of Spanish and Hebrew, just like Yiddish a combination of Hebrew and German with a few other things thrown in.

That’s a very good question, since Ladino is a Sephardic language. I would have expected Romanche as the fourth language (after French, German, and Italian), since those are Switzerland’s offical languages. Any Swiss Misses (or Misters) about to answer this? (Arnold W.?)

Are they better armed than that? Or are there Vatican SWAT teams hiding in the air ducts? I’d hate to think an armed attack on the Pope is going to be foiled by guys in clown suits weilding pole arms.

I understand they have camo and automatic weapons should the need arise. I thought that the Master had addressed that, but I can’t find it in the archives.

I am Swiss and have spent several weeks living at the Vatican, and learned something new on Antiques Roadshow this weekend. Those unweildly Halbard staffs they use are VERY specific in their application (these are the little hatchets on the long poles with a spike coming out the top). The axe blade is to cut the mounted knight’s HORSE’S achilles tendon. The spike is to jab that sucker in the neck (the knight, not the horse).

Don’t mess with the Swiss. They have been mercenaries for 800 years. Every mountain pass and bridge is pre-loaded with demolition explosives to prevent invasion. Good luck.

[Eddie Izzard]
"I ahm zee soo-eese gahrd. Ah have scissors. You have a thread. There! I have cut! Je l’ecoupe!
[/Eddie Izzard]

Your father was a hamster and your mother smells of elderberries. Go away or I shall taunt you a second time! We’ve already got one!


give some info on their “real” weaponry, but

says that the Popes’ bodyguards only carry tear gas.

Hey, I’ve nothing but respect for the Swiss military. I just wanted reassurance that the pointy sticks was more of an honor guard thing than the last line of defense for his Holiness :slight_smile:

And the multicolor thing with plumed helmets is the full-dress public-display outfit. For everyday work they wear a much plainer (though still nicely retro) blue outfit with a beret.

Actually I suspect that the reference to “Ladino” may be really an Italian-spelled reference to Ladin, which IIRC is how Italians refer to the families of “Romance” dialects around the Alps and Dolomites that includes Romansch (Rhaeto-Romance). It would be a different “Ladino” than Judeo-Espanyol (which is what modern Hispanophone Sephardim call it, “Ladino” being the old scholarly/ritual version)