Even the Swiss Guards, it seems, are into the marketing racket. As readers of this blog know, and as I explain in my “Pontifications” introduction, I like to roam the broad realm of Catholic faith and culture, from the sublime to the ridiculous–from church reform to secular politics, from Tim Russert to George Carlin, and much in between.
But I’m not sure where on the spectrum this story falls: the Swiss Guards who have been protecting popes (or trying) for 500 years are now selling their own licensed souvenirs. Well, if the pope can do it, why not his security team? Check out their online shop, which, beyond the obligatory DVD (a nod to good taste) features ties, baseball caps, polo shirts, even Swiss (Guard) watches as well as other memorabilia.
As Carol Glatz notes on the CNS blog from which I scored this story, “One interesting item on offer is a silver coin that is a modern day replica of the gold papal ducat Pope Julius II paid the very first Swiss battalion that marched from Switzerland to their new job in Rome more than half a millennium ago.”