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Pope Benedict XVI Steps Down And Officially Retires From The Papal Office

CASTEL GANDOLFO, ITALY - FEBRUARY 28: Members of the Swiss Guard prepare to close the doors to Pope Benedict XVI's residence in Castel Gandolfo and transfer responsibility for his security to the police as he starts his retirement on February 28, 2013 in Castel Gandolfo, Italy. Pope Benedict XVI has been the leader of the Catholic Church for eight years and is the first Pope to retire since 1415. He will stay at the Papal Summer residence of Castel Gandolfo until renovations are complete at a monastery in the grounds of the Vatican and will be known as Emeritus Pope. (Photo by Oli Scarff/Getty Images)

Guarding the Pope in style

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.