Vatican City, Jan 16, 2012 / 12:17 pm
The Vatican’s Palatine Guard was officially disolved in 1970, but its former members still serve the Pope today.
“We didn’t actually leave the Vatican at all because our faith and our faithfulness were unchanged,” said Antonio Martini, who joined the guards just after World War II.
When he decreed the dissolution of the Guard in 1970, Pope Paul VI created the Association of Saints Peter and Paul to replace it. This allowed the men to “work to carry on the good that the Palatine Guard had done for so many years,” Martini explained.
The Palatine Guard was formed in 1850 by Pope Pius IX and largely performed a ceremonial role during the Vatican’s major Church and State events.