Guard

Organization

The Commander is in charge of the overall management of the Guard. In particular, he is responsible for the recruitment as well as the compliance of the guard regulations and the orders of his superiors. Furthermore, he is liable for the positive development of the Corps and the maintenance of its discipline. Colonel Christoph Graf was born on 5th September 1961. His place of origin is Pfaffnau in the canton of Lucerne. He joined the Guard in 1987, is married and father of two children. As... Read more

Responsibilities

The Pontifical Swiss Guard provides security services (visitors’ control, security duties, guard service and personal protection) as well as honorary services (audiences, receptions, Holy Masses). The main task of our Corps is to "constantly watch over the safety of the Holy Father and his residence". Other obligations under this clause are to accompany the Holy Father on his travels to protect the College of Cardinals during papal transitions to guard the entrances to the Vatican... Read more

Life in the Guard

Apart from his daily duties, a guard has got a vast choice of possibilities in his spare time.   The sports enthusiast will find his own football team, FC Guardia, which takes part in the Vatican Championship, competing with different teams of the Vatican, such as the police or the museum’s guards. There is also a gym within the living quarters to help compensate for the long hours of standing still on duty. The musically talented will find the perfect opportunity in the Guard’s band. Even... Read more

Swearing-in

On 6 May 1527, the eternal city was invaded by mercenaries of Emperor Charles V. Today we also speak of it as the "Sacco di Roma", the Sack of Rome. In this attack, the Swiss stood no chance, even though they desperately put up resistance. From the total of 189 Swiss Guards, only 42 survived. However, they succeeded at the last minute in getting Pope Clement VII to safety through the secret passage ("Passetto") to Castel Sant'Angelo. Even today, to commemorate this historic... Read more

Uniforms

Probably the most famous uniform in the entire world, the so-called “Gala Uniform”, owes it popularity largely to the design of commander Jules Repond (1910-1921). The famous colours of blue, red and yellow are the traditional colours of the Medici family. The blue and yellow cloth stripes interrupt in a flowing movement the red vest and pants. At the beginning of the 20th century, after much research and in accordance with the frescoes of Raphael, the hats were replaced with the Basque... Read more