Friday, May 28, 2010

My Day at the Swiss Guard Barrack’s by Pearse

One day we were walking in the Vatican and my dad recognizes someone that he met in Bermuda. His name is Andréas and he was a Swiss Guard. We say “hi” and the end of the conversation he says that “ I will try to get you in the Swiss Guard Barrack’s” since he was a Swiss guard. At dinner my dad told me the story of Andréas and how he knew Pope John Paul II. The story is that Andréas became a Swiss Guard and at Christmas he was crying in the Swiss Guard Barrack’s because this was his first Christmas away from home. His duty was at night to guard inside an area in the Vatican for a long time. (When I mean long time I mean four or five hours of just standing) Then these big doors open right behind him and someone walks down this really long hallway. When the person gets around twenty feet away from Andréas he realizes that it is Pope John Paul II. The Pope greets Andréas; then the Pope says thank you for guarding the Vatican and walks away. The Pope had seen in the light that Andréas had been crying so he turns around walks back to Andréas and says, “Let me guess this is your first Christmas away from home.” “Yes your Holiness,” says Andréas and then the Pope blesses Andréas and walks away. Three days later as I wake up from my good nights sleep the person that my dad met in St. Peters Square, Andréas, my mom tells me that Andréas sent us an exciting E-mail. The E-mail said that Andreas would give us a tour of the Swiss Guard Barrack’s at ten O-Clock.

About an hour later we walk into Saint Anne’s gate and Andréas says “hi” to the three Swiss Guards guarding Saint Anne’s gate in Italian. I walk in an office right outside of the Barrack’s and say to myself “ This is going to be really COOL!” My family and I are in the Barrack’s and Andréas tells us the history of the Swiss Guards and how they are the private army of the Pope which began in the year 1506. Every May 6th the new Swiss Guards are inducted and that is why Andréas is here to help the new guards. We are outside where they train the Swiss guards to stand really long and I walk along the training area and I see a Cafeteria an arch and a bathroom. Andréas walks down stairs and I am pretty sure I got to meet a high ranked Swiss Guard right next to the armory. We walk in the armory where they hold the uniforms and armor and Andréas shows us the multicolor striped uniforms with the colors Orange, Blue, Yellow, hats of black, and some uniforms have Red. About ten minutes later we walk in where they hold the guns I make a HUGE smile at Dad and say “AWESOME!” I look around with my brothers there making smiles in the video camera. All of the weapons are more than 100 years old except for two new guns. Andréas tells us more history (I’m not really listening because I’m looking at the guns, maces, spears, and crossbows.) About 10 to 20 minutes later we leave the armory and see the Halyards where the uniforms are (Halyards are the spears that are thrown in the air.) Now we are headed to Saint Anne’s Gate and Andréas shows us the Swiss Guard pictures. “Hundreds of people were Swiss Guards” Andréas tells us in his Swiss accent. We get to Saint Anne’s Gate about ten minutes later Andréas says “bye” and we leave Saint Anne’s Gate…

I just visited the Swiss Guard and I was amazed, flabbergasted, I was definitely not disappointed! My favorite part obviously was the armory, which I think that would be normal for a kid my age. I hope that you enjoyed my paper/blog on the Swiss Guard Barrack’s.

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