CHEAP holidays in Rome and a flashy website are just two of the weapons in the armoury of the 500-year-old Vatican Swiss Guard to lure recruits. And it seems to be working.
Television pictures of the guards in their colourful uniforms and bearing medieval weapons were beamed across the world after the death of Pope John Paul II, giving the Vatican's gatekeepers a rare place on the world's front pages.
The publicity has been so successful that they are now turning candidates away.
Read the complete article Vatican's Swiss Guard on a roll from The Age.
These guys are trained in the use of halberds along with more modern weapons. They learn hand to hand combat. I would not want to mess with them. It's nice that Swiss males are joining up in great numbers. Although, I have to say, if the trend from a few years ago had continued, the Holy See might have given Catholic males from the rest of the world a shot at serving the Holy Father.
But I don't begrudge the Swiss the privilege. They've done such a great job of it over the centuries, they've earned it.