When most think of the Swiss Guard what comes to mind is the poufy multi-colored uniforms and little else. I learned a lot talking to one Swiss Guard very briefly before we embarked on the Scavi tour. This particular officer had only been stationed at the Vatican for a few months, but his partner had been there for several years.
I was shocked to learn that there are strict requirements to become a Swiss Guard. You must be a Swiss citizen, a Roman Catholic, and you have to have been a member of the Swiss military for at least five months in order to volunteer. These men take a strict oath to serve Pope Francis faithfully, and as far as we could see, they were doing just that! – Rebecca Patterson