The Pontifical Swiss Guards, one of the smallest armies in the world, will increase by 25 personnel.
Currently, 110 recruitments are in service and will expand to 135 members to meet the needs of the expected millions of pilgrims to visit the Vatican in the 2025 Jubilee Year.
The Pontifical Swiss Guard was founded by Pope Julius II in 1506 to protect the pope and the Vatican.
The Swiss Guards decided to establish a press office in Switzerland, hoping for better support for the recruitment process.
The Liaison office will offer direct contact for the media with the Pontifical Swiss Guard Foundation, the Barracks Foundation, and the Association of Former Swiss Guards.
The head of the media and liaison offices, 57-year-old Stefan Wyer, is a native of the canton of Visp, Switzerland.
He has been serving as an independent consultant in corporate communications and politics since July 1.
The candidate for the Swiss Guard must be a single, Catholic, healthy man of Swiss nationality with a height of 1.74 meters (5 feet, seven inches) between 19 and 30 years of age.
Before they serve the pope, they must complete military training in Switzerland and special training in Rome and Switzerland.
The candidate must serve at least 26 months.
The guard can marry after serving five years with the commitment to serve for at least three more years, and the age must be at least 25 years old.
The President of the charitable foundation funding the Swiss Guard’s new building, Jean-Pierre Roth, told Catholic News Agency(CNA), "A main objective of the project is to offer more apartments for married guardsmen. The barracks will have 25 apartments for families."
The new barrack building project includes the plan to increase the accommodation for guardsmen because some are currently living in shared rooms or housing outside the Vatican.
Each guard will be able to have a private room with a bathroom in the new barracks.
The renovation of the Vatican barracks was planned in 2016.
The Vatican News said, "After approval of the final project and budget, the Vatican will set a date to start the construction, likely to come after the end of the Jubilee Year of 2025."
Vatican News reported that the estimated cost for the renovation is about 45 million Swiss francs (CHF), currently equivalent to 46.4 million euros.
Concerning the females to serve in the Swiss Guards, Roth told CNA that the building foundation is "planning barracks to meet the needs of the Swiss Guards in the coming decades. Who knows whether females will be integrated into the Guard in the future?"
"The decision belongs to the Holy Father. Our foundation has no information about a possible decision," he added. - With inputs from Vatican News and the Catholic News Agency
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