Swiss Guard - Forever Loyal To Popes
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Uploaded by Rome Reports on Jun 13, 2007
Vincent Von Siebenthal is now officially a member of the world's smallest army. The twenty-one year old was one of thirty eight Swiss Guards who swore allegiance to the Pope on May 6th. Vincent Von Siebenthal, Swiss Guard, says:"It's an historic date since it marks the Sack of Rome in 1527. The imperial troops of Charles V invaded Rome and pillaged the city for days. But then the Swiss Guards came and saved the Pope..to save his life they gave their own. One-hundred and forty seven Swiss Guards sacrificed their lives to save the pope and another 42 were able to safely transfer Pope Clement VII to Castel Sant'Angelo." Friends and family from Switzerland watched as the recruits shouted their oath in German, French, Italian or Ladin, a north Italian dialect. "We go forward and we put our hand on the flag and we make this sign with three figures, which is a symbol of the Holy Spirit." The Swiss Guard has protected the Pope for over 500 years...although their role has changed in modern times. Robert Royal, author of "The Pope's Army: 500 Years of the Papal Swiss Guard", explains:"At the beginning they could operate more less like a military division. Now they operate more like American secret service ...So they have almost impossible duty on the one hand trying to set up real security permanent and on the other allowing people to meet Pope and as the commandant said to me once about John Paul II in some slight but humorous irritation. He said He thinks that he is protected by divine providence and so do we except we believe we are part of that divine providence." Kings may not be sacking Rome anymore, but the Pope's soldiers still take their job seriously. For Guard Von Siebenthal, it's an honor to live inside the Vatican and protect the Pope . Vincent Von Siebenthal, Swiss Guard, says:"Working in the heart of the Vatican for the Pope and the Church is a unique experience. And it's not an opportunity that everyone gets." The recruits are all Catholics between 19 and 30 years of age from the Swiss army. The Swiss Guard was founded on January 22, 1506, when 150 Swiss mercenaries marched to Rome to serve Pope Julius II, known as "the warrior pope". They've been protecting successive popes - warriors for the truth - ever since.