A bridge to the home country

Mrs. Ruth Metzler-Arnold, former Federal Councilor, talks about her first impressions as President of the Board of Trustees of the Pontifical Swiss Guard and about the many tasks ahead.

On 1 July 2018 I was elected to the Board of Trustees of the Foundation for the Swiss Pontifical Guard in the Vatican and assumed the chairmanship. Since then, only a few weeks have passed and I experience new things every day and discover the unknown. I am already very impressed:

Impressed by the discipline, competence and dedication of the Guards and their superiors, who perform a very demanding task in the service of the Holy Father;

Impressed by the work of the Foundation over the past 18 years under the leadership of my two predecessors, former Federal Councilor Flavio Cotti and former Federal Councilor Pascal Couchepin, and the members of the Board of Trustees, who have committed themselves free of charge to the work of the Foundation, in terms of time and deeds;

But above all I am impressed and grateful by the numerous small and large benefactors providing the foundation with the financial means to support the papal Swiss Guard in many ways.

In many ways, the Foundation serves as an important bridge between the guard in the Vatican and their homeland. The administration of the Vatican State is largely responsible for the costs of the Guard. However, the remuneration framework lies within the bandwidths of the Italian labor market. The Guards and their leaders are temporarily in the service of the Holy Father. They, as well as their families, will return to Switzerland. Their children must therefore be given the opportunity to attend an international school that will make it easier for them to later join the Swiss education system. After their return, the fathers will have to continue their retirement provisions in Switzerland and are dependent on an appropriate bridging of any possible contribution gaps. Another field arises from the training and continuing education requirements. The vigilance and protective duties at the Vatican require good knowledge of the Italian language, the formal and informal manners of the Holy See, and knowledge of historical and cultural contexts. The Guard must be given the opportunity to acquire these qualities. The foundation should be able to create the necessary financial conditions.

Today, I am only at the beginning of my mission and am looking forward to discovering a new world for myself.

Members of the Foundation Board


I support the Swiss Guard...

…because their long history impressed me and I want to help that the Corps continue to develop in modern times with solidarity and assistance of benefactors.

Sig. Michael Plüss, Vice-President, Foundation board since 2012


I support the Swiss Guard...

... because I can identify with the Swiss Guard motto „acriter et fideliter,“ and because I perceive this service tot he Holy Father and the image that the Swiss Guard create for our country a great honor.

Dr. Imad M-M Hatem, Founder member


I support the Swiss Guard...

... because I think it’s important that the guards culturally and professionally excel during their tour of duty. It’s my goal to make their reintegration into the Swiss labor market easier.

Prof. Philippe Jaeger, Founder member


I support the Swiss Guard...

...because for every young guard as well as for our country as a whole, the Swiss Guard represents an important connection between our values, tradition and contemporary life.

Dr. Konrad Hummler, Foundation board since 2010



I support the Swiss Guard...

...because it honors the commitment and the Tradition of Service of Switzerland.

Dr. Thierry Fauchier-Magnan, Foundation board since 2012



I support the Swiss Guard...

... because I feel that the Pope is in good Hands with the Swiss Guards, and because these young soldiers and their officers deserve our recognition fort he selfless service they perform. That’s why I actively participate on the Foundation Board in helping the organization find benevolent donors and supporters.

Dr. Urs Schwaller, Foundation board since 2016


I support the Swwiss Guard...

…because I want to help our young compatriots who are engaging themselves - at the risk of their own live and with a big sacrifice – for a noble cause that is giving honor to our country.

Dr. Jean-Pierre Roth, Foundation board since 2016



I support the Swiss Guard...

...because every single Swiss Guard is committed to the service at the risk of his own life, and thus exemplifies the fundamental values of Switzerland and is a source of inspiration for today's youth.

Raymond Loretan, Foundation board since 2018




Bishop Charles Morerod

Represents the Swiss Conference of Catholic Bishops