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Cardinals Leave General Congregations
VATICAN CITY, VATICAN - MARCH 07: German cardinals Walter Kasper leaves the Paul VI Hall at the end of a session of cardinals general congregations on March 7, 2013 in Vatican City, Vatican. There is no indication as yet when a Papal conclave will take place following the resignation of Pope Benedict XVI. (Photo by Franco Origlia/Getty Images)

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Guarding the Pope in style

March 8, 2013

Swiss Guards are soldiers who have served as bodyguards at European palaces since the 15th century. The Papal Swiss Guard is the only one that still exists and are responsible for the safety of the Pope. They serve as the de facto military of Vatican City. Guards must be Catholic, single males with Swiss citizenship and have completed basic training with the Swiss military. The uniform has a distinctly Renaissance appearance and is inspired by Michelangelo and Raphael paintings.