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Saturday, April 08, 2006

Swiss Guards

This is a picture of the Swiss Guards guarding the Vatican.

January 22nd, 1506, is the official date of birth of the Pontifical Swiss Guard, because on that day, a group of one hundred and fifty Swiss soldiers commanded by Captain Kasparvon Silenen, of Canton Uri, passed through the Porta del Popolo and entered for the first time the Vatican, where they were blessed by Pope Julius II. Swiss Guards have protected 42 popes since then.
A Swiss Guard should be Catholic, between 18-30 years old and have completed military service and high school in Switzerland. They serve for 2 years, with the possibility of extending the period. They are highly characteristic with their loyalty to the Pope and the Vatican, they are willing to sacrifice their lives for their sake.

The uniforms which attract so much attention were not, as originally thought, designed by Michelangelo. In fact, they were designed by a Commander, Jules Rupond, in 1914-1915. The uniform was paraded in Pope Leo X inauguration ceremony in 1514. The red, yellow and blue are believed to be the colors of the Medici family.

Today, they are made by one man, Ety Cicioni, the Swiss Guard tailor. They are made from 146 separate pieces of fabric, tailored to each individual Swiss Guard and taking up to two months to make.

Self Note: With all my due respect, I still hate the uniform, they look like a troop of clowns rather than guards or soldiers!!

Posted by Wonderer :: 12:00 PM :: 8 comments

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