After visiting with the commandant they also agreed to loan a fully tailored uniform for the exhibit. They made it based on a manikin that Father Kunst had.
The particular letter, dated October 4, 2004, is from Colonel Mader. The letter discusses the Swiss Guard’s willingness to provide a uniform for the exhibition, The Vatican Comes to Duluth, a showing of Father Kunst’s Collection in 2004. They also sent a replica of the flag used by the Swiss Guard during Pope John Paul II’s pontificate. In return, Father promised to provide them with the uniform used during the reign of Pope Pius X, which the Swiss Guard does not have in their own repository of items. (In the end, they never borrowed it.)
Uniforms changed until 1914 when each papacy would modify the piping on the jacket to reflect the current pope’s coat of arms.
Upon the death of St. Pius X they returned to the original uniform which dates to Pope Julius II who reigned from 1503-1513. So the uniforms we see today are indicative of those seen from as far back as the 1500s.
The one shown in this Collection denotes the time when the piping on the uniform was altered to reflect the current papacy. However that all stopped in 1914.
In the end, while the Swiss Guard made a uniform for Father Kunst’s collection, they never used his.
One reason his uniform is so unique is because it shows that even in the Vatican they don’t have some of the items Father Kunst has.
You are invited to visit Papal History/Swiss Guard to view all items that are a part of this Collection and to hear the interesting story of how these uniforms were acquired.
The agreements were signed between Father Richard Kunst and Major Peter Hasler (as well as Colonel Mader). He is historically significant because he is the longest serving guardsman in the 500-year history of the Guard.
The Swiss Guard is the longest standing army in the world.