Meet the army of the sovereign state of the Vatican. They may be best known for their colorful costumes, but for 500 years, popes have entrusted their very lives to the protection of this band of Swiss mercenaries. To this day each Swiss Guard swears fidelity to the head of the Holy See “with all my strength, ready to sacrifice, should it become necessary, even my own life.” Their army is made up of 100 soldiers — never more nor less, each with specified duties. Seventy bear swords and axes. Two man the drums. All are in the front lines of defense at St. Peter’s Basilica in Rome.