VATICAN CITY -- Three members of the Pontifical Swiss Guard have hung up their halberds rather than be vaccinated against COVID-19, and three others were temporarily suspended in early October as they were completing the vaccination cycle, the spokesman for the guards told a Swiss newspaper.

Published in Vatican

VATICAN CITY -- Meeting new recruits to the Swiss Guard, Pope Francis thanked the young men for having chosen to serve the successor of St. Peter and he thanked all the guards for their diligence and service.

Published in Vatican

VATICAN CITY - With Pope Benedict XVI in Milan for three days under the watchful eyes of Vatican and Italian police, members of the Pontifical Swiss Guard set down their halberds and headed off to do some volunteer work in earthquake-stricken Northern Italy.

Lt. Col. Christoph Graf, vice commander of the Swiss Guards, told L'Osservatore Romano, the Vatican newspaper, that it was "a spontaneous act of charity and solidarity."

Twenty members of the 100-strong corps left their Vatican barracks early June 2 and headed to Emilia Romagna, struck by earthquakes May 20 and 29. The death toll from the second quake reached 17 June 4 when a corpse was pulled from the rubble of a factory.

Published in International

VATICAN CITY - Some might find the Vatican an unlikely teacher of business management, especially these days, given the ouster of the Vatican Bank's president for negligence and a leaked document scandal alleging corruption and incompetence in the Holy See.

But according to one former Swiss Guard, the years he spent protecting Blessed John Paul II yielded life-changing lessons for a career in business.

Published in Features

VATICAN CITY - In an effort to boost recruitments through more modern methods of outreach, the Pontifical Swiss Guard has opened a page on Facebook.

Facebook.com/gsp1506 was launched May 4 "to open a window" and better inform young people about the "Guardia Svizzera Pontificia," said the guard's commander, Col. Daniel Anrig.

Published in Features