January 2006 will mark 500 years of guarding the Vatican for Switzerland and the Swiss Guards who have stood loyal to their duties. Lucerne is currently celebrating the mark of the 500th anniversary already. Roughly every two years, a change of guards takes place and the following stipulations have to be met to even become a guard at the Vatican.
There are a maximum of 110 Swiss Guards who guard the Pope.
1. Candidates have to be Swiss, Catholic, under 30 and at least 174cm tall.
2. Recruits must be single but can marry later.
3. Payment is SFr1,800 per month, which is much lower than what the cost of living really permits.
4. Guards must serve at least two years.
Luckily they do get to play certain games such as European football, do a bit of running and are encouraged to get involved with other activities. Surely, if they weren't aloud to do any of this, I'm not sure how any of them would survive a 2 year span of duties....