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Vatican City, 03.10.2023

Press Release

Discover the Swiss Pontifical Guard

From 1 to 5 October 2023, 21 young people between the ages of 16 and 20 will participate in the annual discovery trip to Rome to gain a personal insight into Swiss Guard. Five exciting days that will also offer an insight into the thinking and motivation of young people in the service of the Guard. On 14 October 2023, the Guard will also hold an information day for interested young people at the Guard Museum in Naters (VS).

A rich programme awaits the young people in Rome. Over the next few days, they will learn about the history of art, culture and faith. The participants will be able to admire the Apostolic Palace, the Sistine Chapel and Saint Peter's Basilica. The Swiss Guards are undoubtedly among the most photographed subjects in Rome. Participants will be able to get an idea of their work by visiting the various stations.

As places are limited, it is necessary to register on the Pontifical Swiss Guard website. A leaflet with details of the event, including times and conditions of participation, will be available on the same site.

A professional security service

But the service goes much further. The Guard is now a professional security service. Since the Paris attacks in 2015, security needs have also increased significantly at the Vatican, and with them the requirements in terms of training, resources and intervention tactics. In 2018, Pope Francis increased the number of guards from 110 to 135. This also has an impact on accommodation. The outdated barracks will be replaced by a new building in the coming years. Visitors have been able to see for themselves how cramped the current accommodations are.

Successful promotion

Information trips were created in 2003 and are now one of the most successful promotional measures. They take place twice a year and are aimed at young people between the ages of 16 and 20. The next one is scheduled for 2 to 6 April 2024 and it is also planned to organize one in autumn 2024. Experience shows that about half of the 20 or so participants join the Guard in subsequent years.

For interested young people, the Guard will organize an information day at the Swiss Guard Museum in Naters (VS) on 14 October 2023. They will thus have the opportunity to obtain information about the service, the requirements, and the selection process, but also about the possibilities of pursuing a career in the field of security if they return to Switzerland.

Anyone interested in participating in the information day and the introductory trip can find out more and register at www.guardiasvizzera.ch.

Further information on the corps is available at www.guardiasvizzera.ch.

Contact: Corporal Eliah Cinotti / +39 06 698 98 100 / media@gsp.va

I - 00120 Vatican City