Swiss Guards get 'powerful' weapons: 'combat rosaries'

Swiss Guards get 'powerful' weapons: 'combat rosaries' May 24, 2016

Catholics are just … weird. I know this because I keep getting emails from the National Catholic Register, which keeps me abreast of the mainly bizarre but often comical antics Catholics get up to.
But the one I received today really had me blinking in disbelief after it led me to a blog run by Fr John Zuhlsdorf, who is beside himself with glee over that fact that the Swiss Guards were recently presented with “combat rosaries” by a fellow priest, Fr Richard Heilman. 
Heilman has a neat little on-line business called Roman Catholic Gear, where you can buy the “combat rosaries”, and much more besides – such as the “Benedictine Camelbak Chute Waterbottle”, “The Pope Francis Purple Nalgene Waterbottle”, and “St Joan of Arc Green Widemouth Bottles” in green and blue. Of course, there’s also a wide range of cheesy figurines of chaps like Jesus, St Francis and St Michael.

Reporting on the presentation of the “combat rosaries”, Zuhlsdorf said:

At my prompting Fr. Heilman sent the gun-metal rosaries to all of the Swiss Guard … During his address to the new recruits about to be sworn in, the Commandant held up one of them during his address and told them that training and arms are necessary, but ‘the most important weapon is the ‘combat rosary’. 
Is that not cool?

Zuhlsdorf reported that the Commandant told the Swiss Guards:

It is important that we recover the way of prayer, especially the prayer of the Rosary. Our life, our works and our actions are in the hands of God. This doesn’t mean, however, that we can give up arms and drills. God uses us as instruments to thwart evil in certain situations. For this we need a firm faith, trust in God and prayer.

Commenting on Zuhlsdorf ‘s blog post, one “combat rosary” devotee, Jeff Liss, wrote:

Unsolicited product endorsement: I have carried a combat rosary in my pocket every single day for two years – right in there with car keys, loose change, a phone, and whatever candy wrappers and goodness-knows-what-else one of my kids manages to deposit in there.
While I sometimes regret the indecorum of Our Lord on the Cross rattling against my phone when it’s on vibrate, I’m glad to have a rosary that can be my constant companion because it is INDESTRUCTIBLE. I have not made a single deposit to the family Repository of Broken Rosaries since purchasing it.
I remember, when I first received it, taking it out of the package and being impressed by its solidity and heft. It feels like a weapon – like fine Toledo steel…in bead form. Dubious metaphors aside, I highly recommend it.

Me? I’ll stick to my Fenix TK16 tactical torch, which I successfully deployed to see off  a would-be mugger in Brighton a few weeks back.

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  • AgentCormac

    Good luck with that rosary, lads. You’re going to need it if you go into combat dressed and armed like 16th-century Conquistadors. That aside, could the catholic brand make it any more transparent that all they are after is the money in your pocket? The word ‘shameless’ springs to mind (which appropriatelty enough starts with ‘sham’). To borrow a word from the title of the previous thread, this church is run by out and out charlatans – and it nevers ceases to amaze me how people are still gullible enough to swallow their lies. Having said which, if you’ve been indoctrinated since birth – well,what chance do you stand? The RCC has spent the past two millenia creating its own captive audience.

  • Daz

    Warning: “Shoulder arms” requires learning the Indian rope trick!
    As far as silly combat ideas go, though, this is much more fun.

  • Vanity Unfair

    The point of clandestine weapons is that do not look like weapons. This is obviously inspired by the C19 Thuggees of India (Yes,I know they were around for longer than that) and would be perfect for creeping up to an adversary (or the Adversary) and, with a quick flick around the neck, setting about a bit of demonic strangulation. The Swiss guard obviously take this seriously, as evidenced by the issue of anti-garotting cravats to the soldiery in case off counter-attack.;jsessionid=7F224D30392924326DF1F8A56D9F2326?id=53188&index=10&total=1000&categoryId=18&categoryTypeId=1&collection=Design&sortAttributeId=724&sortDescending=false

  • barriejohn

    Vincent Nichols has the relic that will zap all enemies of the RCC!
    “Who will rid me of this troublesome priest?”

  • Dave Godfrey

    This isn’t really such a silly idea. You could take out somebody’s eye with one of those things.

  • RussellW

    Jeff, Jeff,
    What’s the point of an indestructible combat rosary if you’re dead? I’d prefer body armour and automatic weapons.
    Of course the article must be satirical, no one could possibly be so superstitious in 2016. Could they? ISIL must be terrified.

  • barriejohn

    Our life, our works and our actions are in the hands of God. This doesn’t mean, however, that we can give up arms and drills. God uses us as instruments to thwart evil in certain situations. For this we need a firm faith, trust in God and prayer.
    I’m just thankful that I no longer have to try to make sense of these convoluted arguments, as I now realize that they are are completely NONsensical!

  • ZombieHunter

    Can they throw those rosaries like ninja throwing stars or something??
    in all seriousness though the swiss guards apparently have a large armoury with all the latest in weaponary along with a load of medieval weaponary too, it’s like catholic Q branch apparently

  • Barry Duke

    Swish guards, ZombieHunter? Those pictures suggest so.

  • Cali Ron

    Daz: Your link has inspired me. I was restoring a 63 Sunbeam Alpine, but now I’m going to put tracks on the back and mount a machine gun on the hood (bonnet I think to you ). I’ll be the envy of the NRA. Slow traffic will no longer be a problem, rat- a-tat-tat-tat.

  • Robster

    In 1970, the then pope of the Catholics visited my home town. We had a few friends tainted with severe catholic, they all gave me some of their beady things to wave at the then pope for what they called a “blessing”as I’d got myself a ride on the police vessel that was to accompany the popey type as he floated about the harbour. On returning to shore, they all came over to grab the jewelry, fawning madly as if something momentous had been achieved. I really felt a bit silly, but….they seemed to appreciate it.

  • Smokey

    I’d love to have a Breastplate of Saint Patrick Men’s T-Shirt. It’s a bit wordy, but it’s such an important message that you’ll just have to hold back the random passers-by until they’ve read it all.

  • 1859

    I only like their stripy, balloon trousers – makes me feel the circus has come to town. I can see myself wearing a pair in front of my 5th form class! Holy fucking jesus would be the least of my worries.
    As for the ‘combat roseries’ – I think they’re deadly – weapons of mass destruction and no mistake. No!? I’m serious! Just think of the death and destruction this rosery gadget can bring to the brain’s neurons – millions wiped out at a glance! Just heed my warning stay clear of these guys and their pocket full of roses.

  • barriejohn

    Rosaries are, indeed, deadly weapons:
    Just make sure that the Devil doesn’t “make you fall down” anywhere near those who have them.

  • Bob

    “The weapons of our warfare are not carnal but mighty through God to the pulling down of strongholds” 2nd Cor 10 v 4.
    Prayer and the Word of God are our weapons NOT the rosary which involves worshipping Mary.

  • Brummie

    I think you’re firing blanks Bob.

  • Bob

    No, I’m not, souls have been saved through my ministry as an evangelist.

  • Angela_K

    Given the well known proclivities of Catholics I wonder if these rosaries are used for this purpose:

  • David Anderson

    Bob says:
    Wed 25 May at 10:36 am
    No, I’m not, souls have been saved through my ministry as an evangelist.
    Reporting broken bullshit detector.

  • Raul Miller

    Oh I don’t know, these look pretty lethal. Just hold them up at eye level and swing them pendulum-like back and forth; you are getting sleepy, very sleepy…then POW! Plus, rosaries are known to fill people’s minds with bullshit; which is apparently one of the most powerful forces in the universe.

  • Peter Sykes

    I just bought a Fenix FD40, damb good torch!

  • Ate Berga

    Reminds me of the guy who brought a knife to a gun fight.

  • Brummie

    Bob, I, and many others, don’t know what a soul is. Can you explain please, in material terms, without resorting to pixie dust or hearsay.

  • Godless Psych

    I’d like to echo Brummie’s request, Bob: what precisely is a soul?
    Moreover, can you explain how one is jeopardised; the techniques you used to save these souls; from what they were saved (what would have been the real-world outcome had they not been saved); and by what endpoint you can state categorically that the saving of the souls had been achieved.
    Since you assert that the soul is a real thing and are clear that you have successfully saved some of them, it should be very easy to explain in real-world terms how this was effected.

  • Dave

    Bob – “Prayer and the Word of God are our weapons…”
    Weapons even less useful than combat rosaries.