Vatican (IP)- The Swiss Guard in the Vatican was founded by Pope Julius II in 1506 and is the oldest and smallest military corps in continuous operation.

 Iran PressEurope: Today (Saturday) during the swearing-in ceremony 23 soldiers will be added to the Pope's special Guard, which currently has 135-strong soldiers in the St. Damasus Courtyard of Vatican City's Apostolic Palaces.The annual Swearing-In Ceremony of the new Swiss Guards is held every year on the 6th of May to coincide with the anniversary of the death of 147 bodyguards of Pope Clement VII in 1527.

The Pontifical Swiss Guard has been practicing for a few days in the Vatican barracks. They must pledge allegiance at a ceremony on Saturday attended by Pope Francis and other Vatican officials.

Elia Chinotti, the spokesperson and media affairs officer of the Pope's special guard, in response to the question of an IranPress reporter on the ground, said: "Discipline is of chief importance for the guard. The soldiers of the Vatican must have a very neat appearance and act completely within the framework of the rules of the organization where any violation will be punished accordingly."

Pointing out at guards' military exercises in Switzerland, Chinotti said: "We are not just a flashy guard, but we have the serious duty of protecting the life of the Pope. That is why the Pope's special guard must observe an iron discipline."

When employed by the Vatican, Swiss soldiers must be single, between the ages of 19 and 30, in good health, adhere to the Catholic religion, have served in Switzerland, and be at least 174 cm tall.


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