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  #1  
Old 03 May 2013, 10:53 AM
JoakimZiegler
 
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Default Pope Francis makes a Swiss Guard a sandwich

This story has been popping up a lot on various Facebook pages, Catholic forums, and so on, but I've been unable to find any confirmation, and given the way the story is told, it seems unlikely that there would be any witnesses...

It certainly seems to fit Francis' personality and image, but I think it seems fishy.

---

The surprising greatness of this new Pope Francis is in the small things. For example, the ability to say, “Brothers and sisters, good evening,” instead of appealing to the centuries, the Scriptures or the universe to present himself to the world. To wear an iron cross of instead of a golden one. To wash the feet of the prisoners.

Or yet, to care for the Swiss Guard who guards the door of his apartment in Casa Santa Marta every night until dawn.

A few days ago, at dawn, the time the Pope wakes up, he came out to the corridor, and he found in front of his door the sentry, a Swiss Guard standing with his halberd at attention.


He asked him: “And what are you doing here? Have you been up all night?”

"Yes," replied the guard with deference and a bit surprised.

"On your feet?"

"Your Holiness, my duty since I took over from my companion."

"And aren’t you tired?"

"It’s my duty Your Holiness; I should watch for your safety."

Pope Francis looked at him again with kindness, went back to his suite and after a minute he came out carrying a chair: "At least sit down and rest."

The guard rolled his eyes and answered: “Santo Padre, forgive me, but I cannot! The regulations do not allow that."

"The regulations?"

"Orders from my captain, Your Holiness."

The Pope smiled, "Oh, really? Well, I'm the Pope and I order you to sit down."

So, caught between the regulations and the Pope, the Swiss Guard (so much for the halberd) chose the chair.

The Pope returned to his apartment.

After a couple of minutes, the Pope came back to the Swiss Guard, still obediently seated on the chair, carrying “panino con marmellata” (Italian bread with jam) which he had prepared. Before the soldier could say anything, the Holy Father, exhibiting his Argentinean smile, told the Swiss Guard, “With all the hours spent standing on guard you must be a bit hungry.” The Swiss Guard had no time to object because the Pope right away wished him a good bite: "Bon appetit, brother."

May God preserve him for many years.
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  #2  
Old 03 May 2013, 04:34 PM
Dr. Dave Dr. Dave is offline
 
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This sounds like when George Costanza got a chair ordered the security guard at his girlfriend's father's store to sit. It did not end well.
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  #3  
Old 03 May 2013, 04:53 PM
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A Turtle Named Mack A Turtle Named Mack is offline
 
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I thought of that as well. And the sandwich part I could understand, particularly if the guard looked peaked and upon questioning revealed some sort of distress, like being sick. However, I think he must understand that for all their finery, the guards have a job to do, for which the chair would not be appropriate or the guard would have one already.
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  #4  
Old 03 May 2013, 05:00 PM
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1958Fury 1958Fury is offline
 
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I could see myself asking them to sit. I hate seeing people look uncomfortable. It makes me uncomfortable. I used to avoid a certain video store because all their employees wore tuxedo-like outfits, and it made me feel claustrophobic to look at them. I don't think I could sleep at night knowing someone was standing outside my door.
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  #5  
Old 04 May 2013, 02:50 PM
Hummelcat Hummelcat is offline
 
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If the guard is a Swiss Guard, that implies to me that he works for the uh, Swiss Guard Company. His employer is the Swiss Guard Company or whatever, not the Pope. His job is to guard the Pope. If he's sitting down on the job and munching goodies, then he's not performing his guarding duties, which appear to include standing (not sitting) in front of the Pope's door all night, and being vigilant to make sure that some baddies are not going to get passed him. He's supposed to be paying attention to his guarding duties, not paying attention to eating and drinking.

The Pope just cost this poor guy his job. So now the Pope has to go out every night and bring these goodies to the barracks or prison cell or wherever this no-longer-guarding guard is spending his nights.

Nah, I don't think the Pope is that ignorant.
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  #6  
Old 04 May 2013, 03:49 PM
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Mr. Billion Mr. Billion is offline
 
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Witch

It's weird, but I thought the topic title meant he turned the guy into a sandwich, like the Pope's a witch or something.
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  #7  
Old 04 May 2013, 07:28 PM
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Plurabelle Plurabelle is offline
 
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Mr. Billion's explanation wins!

I think Pope Francis is a great deal more likeable than his predecessor which leads people to make up stories like this one.

Even as an ex-Catholic who is never looking back, I am somewhat charmed by Francis versus being mostly disgusted by Benedict right from the start (don't worry I'm sure Francis will do something awful like uphold a ban on condoms in AIDS stricken countries soon and I'll lose my benevolence).

I also doubt the Pope would be so ignorant as to the purpose of the Swiss Guard as to force them to sit and eat a jelly sandwich.
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  #8  
Old 05 May 2013, 10:27 AM
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Morwen Edhelwen Morwen Edhelwen is offline
 
 
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Yes, it definitely *sounds* like something he'd do, which is probably why it spread.
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  #9  
Old 06 May 2013, 05:45 AM
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Don Enrico Don Enrico is offline
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Hummelcat View Post
If the guard is a Swiss Guard, that implies to me that he works for the uh, Swiss Guard Company. His employer is the Swiss Guard Company or whatever, not the Pope.
Not quite. Here's the Pontifical Swiss Guards' oath of service:
Quote:
"I swear to faithfully, honestly and honourably serve the reigning Pope Benedict XVI., and his legitimate successors, and also dedicate myself to them with all my strength, sacrificing if necessary also my life to defend them.
I assume the same obligations towards the College of Cardinals during the vacancy of the Apostolic See.
I swear, so help me God and our Patron Saints. "

Swiss Guard website
So a Swiss Guard is actually working for the Pope.
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  #10  
Old 06 May 2013, 03:10 PM
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GenYus234 GenYus234 is offline
 
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It says "serve", which is not the same as "obey". There might be times when the Swiss Guard would have to disobey an order from the Pope in order to save or protect his life.
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  #11  
Old 06 May 2013, 05:07 PM
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I would have thought that there would be two guards on duty, not one. Don't guards like this always work in pairs, to make sure that his partner didn't drift off to sleep or run off for a quick bathroom break? Also, it's one thing to be grateful for a person's service, and to express gratitude, but it is out of line to ask the guard to break his oath of service. Unless you're going to ask that all guards have chairs and receive snacks while on duty, then the whole story just seems like a bit of pointless goodiness.
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  #12  
Old 06 May 2013, 05:21 PM
Onyx_TKD Onyx_TKD is offline
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by JoakimZiegler View Post
[snip]
Or yet, to care for the Swiss Guard who guards the door of his apartment in Casa Santa Marta every night until dawn.

A few days ago, at dawn, the time the Pope wakes up, he came out to the corridor, and he found in front of his door the sentry, a Swiss Guard standing with his halberd at attention.


He asked him: “And what are you doing here? Have you been up all night?”
Is it just me, or does this question make the Pope sound like a bit of an idiot? He has a guard outside his apartment every single night, a fact which is apparently well enough known to serve as the basis of a glurge. And yet the story claims that he walked outside one day and hadn't the faintest clue why this guard was standing in front of his door? Heck, just from knowing that the Pope is an high-profile public figure, it shouldn't be too hard to guess why there might be a guard standing outside his door.
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  #13  
Old 06 May 2013, 06:11 PM
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Mad Jay Mad Jay is offline
 
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Ahh I see Pope Francis is like the "Nice Guy". He went at lengths to satisfy the perceived need of his subordinate instead of taking the time to understand what the subordinate needs. In the end, he walks way feeling that he is done a good thing, when in fact he has made the other guy's job harder.

Maybe the guard doesn't need a sammich. Maybe he just wants to finish his shift and take care of someone who is sick in his family
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  #14  
Old 06 May 2013, 06:20 PM
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A Turtle Named Mack A Turtle Named Mack is offline
 
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Would this guard have been wearing the famous colorful Swiss Guard uniform for a task like this? If I woke up one morning to find someone dressed like that right outside my door, I would be a bit disoriented about it.

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  #15  
Old 06 May 2013, 06:25 PM
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Alarm Alarm is offline
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by A Turtle Named Mack View Post
Would this guard have been wearing the famous colorful Swiss Guard uniform for a task like this? If I woke up one morning to find someone dressed like that right outside my door, I would be a bit disoriented about it.
That is their ceremonial uniform, the Gala uniform.

This is what they wear for training and night duties:
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  #16  
Old 06 May 2013, 06:59 PM
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nonnieyrissa nonnieyrissa is offline
 
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No Mack, the story claims this occurred at the crack of dawn, so shifts would not have changed for at least an hour or so. The night guard wears the Exerzieruniform which is entirely dark blue.

Side note, I have always wondered if the Gala uniform(in the pic you posted) was originally designed to blend in with the court jesters. Does anyone know? I know they were designed by Jules Repond for the Medici family, utilizing their colors, and know they had jesters at their court during that time, but have not found anything suggesting what I have guessed. That probably answers my own question, but still thought if it were true someone here might know...

*Spanked by Alarm
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  #17  
Old 07 May 2013, 08:25 AM
Troberg Troberg is offline
 
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Mr. Billion View Post
It's weird, but I thought the topic title meant he turned the guy into a sandwich, like the Pope's a witch or something.
Well, they do claim to turn bread into the flesh of Christ, so why not the other way around?
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  #18  
Old 08 May 2013, 12:50 AM
JoakimZiegler
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by nonnieyrissa View Post
Side note, I have always wondered if the Gala uniform(in the pic you posted) was originally designed to blend in with the court jesters. Does anyone know? I know they were designed by Jules Repond for the Medici family, utilizing their colors, and know they had jesters at their court during that time, but have not found anything suggesting what I have guessed. That probably answers my own question, but still thought if it were true someone here might know...
According to Wikipedia:
Quote:
The official dress uniform is of blue, red, orange and yellow with a distinctly Renaissance appearance. Commandant Jules Repond (1910–1921) created the current uniforms in 1914. While both Michelangelo and a painting of the Pontifical Swiss Guard bearing Pope Julius II on a litter (by Raphael) are often cited as inspiration for the Pontifical Swiss Guard uniform, the actual uniforms worn by those soldiers are of the style which appears by today's standards as a large skirt, a common style in uniforms during the Renaissance.
So probably not?
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  #19  
Old 08 May 2013, 08:29 AM
moonfall moonfall is offline
 
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I feel a little silly for asking, but why are they called the Swiss Guard?
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  #20  
Old 08 May 2013, 08:34 AM
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Don Enrico Don Enrico is offline
 
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Because they are Swiss. To become a member of the guard, you have to be a male, unmarried Swiss of Catholic faith. Become a guard.

Last edited by Don Enrico; 08 May 2013 at 08:48 AM.
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