Citizens of the land of my forefathers are responsible for guarding the pope.
In 1506, Pope Julius II formed an army from the much sought after mercenaries of Switzerland. For more than 500 years now, Swiss men have been responsible for protecting the pope, his palace, and Vatican City, the smallest nation on earth.
The 130 men of the Swiss Guard have completed regular Swiss army service with honor, are between the ages of 19 and 30 years, stand taller than 5 foot 8 inches, and swear to give their lives defending the pope.
The blackest day in the history of the Guard came during 1527 when the Spanish army invaded Rome and attempted to kill Pope Clement VII. In the battle, 146 Swiss Guards were massacred protecting the entrance of the tunnel Clement escaped through.
No matter the time of day or the weather, these dedicated men are on guard constantly around the Vatican. While they are brave, they are not always able to protect the pope from harm. It was a plain clothed Swiss Guard who threw himself in front of the John Paul II after he was shot by a Muslim assassin in 1981.
The Bible says:
I will lift up my eyes to the hills – from whence comes my help? My help comes from the Lord; who made heaven and earth. He will not allow your foot to be moved; He who keeps you will not slumber. Behold, He who keeps Israel shall neither slumber nor sleep (Psalm 121:1-4).
The God who is always ready to keep Israel, also keeps you.