The smallest army in the world is looking for 25 men to guard the Pope. Must be catholic. Must be Swiss
The smallest army in the world in the smallest country in the world is growing and is looking for some good men.
The Swiss Guard, the elite and colorfully dressed force whose primary role is to protect Pope Francis and the 108-acre Vatican City, currently has 110 members.
Ahead of the Holy Year of 2025, when millions of pilgrims will visit the Vatican, the troupe will grow by 25 members to 135 members, an increase of nearly 23%.
To help with recruitment, the Swiss Guard has opened a new media office and contact point in Switzerland, according to a Guard statement released on Thursday.
It will also coordinate the work of an existing recruitment office in Switzerland, foundations related to the Swiss Guard and former members.
Single Swiss men between the ages of 19 and 31 who are in good health and practicing Catholics, “have an impeccable reputation and are at least 1.74 meters tall and have completed basic training in the Swiss army,” the website says Guard.
You can get married after five years of service.
The force, whose main task is to protect the pope, has been all male since its inception in 1506. But that can change.
Their new barracks at the Vatican, with work expected to begin in 2026, will be built to accommodate female members if the pope or his successors allow them to join, officials said.
Pope Francis, 85, has appointed women to a number of senior positions and leadership roles in the Vatican administration and in March introduced a landmark new constitution that allows any baptized Catholic layperson, including women, to head most Vatican departments.
A Swiss foundation has already raised more than 37 million Swiss francs of the estimated 45 million Swiss francs needed to replace the current 150-year-old barracks.
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