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Saturday, May 25, 2024
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Swiss Guard gains new defenders keeping the Vatican secure

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On 6 May, 34 young men will swear their allegiance to protect the pope as their predecessors have for more than 500 years.

These colourful red, yellow and blue uniforms stand guard outside the entrances to the Vatican forming the pope’s army: the Swiss Guard.

Founded in 1506, men from all parts of Switzerland continue to join the smallest army in the world as some see it as their ongoing service to the Church.

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“I became a Swiss Guard because I was an altar boy. I was an altar boy for 10 years before the Guard,” said Alex Mosquera, one of the men expected to be sworn in.

“It is like a continuation of the highest service I can give to the Church as just a guy, not as a priest. I have the deep feeling that it is God calling me to be a Guard and be sworn in on 6 May.”

Every year, a new group of men train for two months to prepare for the role of officially protecting the pope and the Vatican. It’s a mission in service of the Church and their country.

In Switzerland, about 30 per cent of people are Catholic. The Swiss Guard is an example of the continuing presence of young people living their faith.

“We are all between 20-23 years old. Some are 29, however the majority are 20 years old. And we give 2 years of our lives for the Church and the pope,” Alex explained.

“I think it’s a nice example of young people serving, that there are still young people who can give their time, two years of their youth, for something greater.”

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