Suiting up the Swiss Guard

Suiting up the Swiss Guard: Austrian blacksmiths practice vanishing craft for Vatican guards
Bishop Vincent Long OFM Conv with two Swiss Guards at the Vatican. Image: Diocese of Parramatta.

This article first appeared on Yahoo.

Austrian blacksmiths who produce ceremonial suits of armor for the Vatican’s Swiss Guards are close to the end of their current deal to do so, and say supplying the suits will not be an issue for many years to come.

One of the drawbacks of the Swiss Guards’ medieval uniforms is that the craftsmanship needed to make them is disappearing.

To read a CatholicOutlook story on the Swiss Guards, click here.

Faced with an aged stock in need of replacement, the Guards turned to brothers Johann and Georg Schmidberger—the fifth generation to run the family blacksmith’s business in the Austrian town of Molln—to provide them with 80 suits of armor covering the torso and arms.

The brothers have produced 10 of the suits a year since 2009, meaning the deal will be completed this year, and new replacements will not be needed for quite some time.

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