The world’s smallest army, in the smallest country, is strengthening its forces and looking for candidates.
The Swiss Guard, the elite group with the colorful uniforms, whose main mission is to protect the pope and Vatican City, it currently has 110 members. Ahead of the Holy Year 2025, when millions of pilgrims are expected to visit the Vatican, its strength will increase by 25 members, reaching 135. This means that the strength of the Vatican army will increase by 23%.
To assist in the recruitment process, the Swiss Guard has opened a new Press and Communications office in Switzerland, as it announced on Thursday (31/09). This service will also coordinate the work of the already existing recruiting office and contacts with its former members.
What are the conditions?
The conditions, as reported by the Athens News Agency, to be employed in the Swiss Guard are very strict and specific: the job is only for single men swiss men, aged 19-31, where is faithful Catholics, with Good healththey rejoice “of excellent reputation” and have a height of at least 1.74. They should also have already completed the basic training in the Swiss Army. After 5 years of service, they are allowed to marry.
The Swiss Guard has been all-male since it was founded in 1506. But that may change. Her new barracks at Vaticanthe reconstruction of which will start in 2026, maybe it has facilities for womenas long as Pope Francis or his successors allow them to join this House.
A Swiss foundation has already raised more than 37 million Swiss francs (out of about 45 million needed) to build the new barracks to replace the old one, which is 150 years old.
Source: News Beast